Minor league baseball pitcher's family killed in triple homicide

Player's brother-in-law arrested

By Madeline Holcombe and Dave Alsup, CNN

Aug. 1, 1966: Charles Whitman pointed a rifle from the observation deck of the University of Texas at Austin's Tower and began shooting in a homicidal rampage that went on for 96 minutes. Sixteen people were killed and 31 were wounded.

(CNN) - The wife, child, and mother-in-law of a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization were killed in a southern Virginia town Tuesday, and police arrested the brother-in-law of minor league baseball player Blake Bivens, according to a report by ESPN.

Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder, a spokesperson for Pittsylvania County, Virginia, said in a statement provided to CNN.

A 911 call around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning reported that a person had been shot, the spokesperson said. Deputies went to the scene where they found a deceased woman in the driveway and the bodies of another woman and a child inside the home.

Bernard was taken into custody as he ran from a wooded area around 12:15 p.m., the spokesperson said. A first court appearance has not been scheduled.

CNN has attempted to reach out to the surviving family of the suspect with no comment.

The Tampa Bay Ray's Organization released a statement Tuesday night on behalf of Blake Bivens.

"Earlier today we learned that Blake Bivens, a pitcher with our Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, suffered a terrible family tragedy in southern Virginia," the Rays said on Twitter. "Our hearts are broken for Blake. We are grieving with him and will support him any way we can. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the Bivens family and the Biscuits family during this extremely difficult time."

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.