APPOMATTOX, VA (WWBT) - Residents in Appomattox are relieved the accused gunman is now in custody. But the shock remains that something like this happened at all.
"You don't hear about this very much as all," said Clyde Ferguson.
Another shocking crime in a normally quiet and small community. Ferguson has lived here all his life. He heard about the shootings at work, and couldn't believe it.
"I didn't know what to think you really--you never hear about something like this going on in Appomattox...I didn't know what to say, what was true, what not was true," he said.
Clyde didn't know Christopher Speight, and says while his heart goes out to the victims. His mind drifted to his own well-being after hearing the news.
"My safety, my families safety, everybody around, you know eight people--that's pretty sad you know," he said.
Tim Willis saw a bunch of state troopers on his way into work and once there found out why. He was not surprised word spread like wildfire.
"Very quick, it's a small town, nothing like this ever happens. It's very just shocking, and it's sad more or less, I've heard it's a lot of family members involved, and that's the bad thing," he said.
Residents we spoke with say they still feel safe and like living in Appomattox County. But regardless of the fact that the suspected gunman is in custody, and regardless of his relationship to the victims -- this shocking scene has changed their way of thinking -- making them realize this kind of thing can happen anywhere.
"It's a rude awakening -- you never lock your doors here -- you never hear something like this…it's quiet, Willis said.
"You just don't know what people will do these days, and you kind of gotta watch yourself," Ferguson said.