Virginia A security guard accused of killing his sister, her husband and six others had a history of mental problems and imagined his sister wanted to kick him out of the home they shared, relatives and others who knew him said.
Police say Christopher Speight, 39, killed his sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and four other people early Tuesday before firing on a police helicopter, hiding in the woods and finally surrendering nearly a day later.
Speight had struggled since his mother died from brain cancer in 2006, his uncle Thomas Giglio said Thursday.
“There was a problem with him after his mother died,” Giglio, of South Boston, Va., said in a phone interview. “He didn’t take it good at all. I don’t think he ever reconciled it.”
Lynchburg attorney Harry Devening, who handled legal matters for Speight’s family, said Speight had an apparent learning disability and history of mental problems, and “ran away” from his sister’s Georgia home for several days during a breakdown in 2007, about a year after his mother died.