Family of suspect accused of killing father and two women ‘devastated’

Posted at 11:54 PM, Jan 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-09 06:27:53-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Not too far from  Dinwiddie County, Chesterfield police said a "hunch" helped them solve a double-murder.

Herbert Bland, Jr. is now accused of killing two women, then shooting his father Monday. 

While his rap sheet is lengthy, with speeding tickets and other misdemeanors, those who know Bland said they never saw this coming.

The timeline of events isn't precise yet, but Chesterfield investigators claim Bland shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth Fassett, and her mother Barbara, before heading back to Dinwiddie to take aim at his dad.

Herbert Bland, Sr. was found shot to death inside his Harris Drive home Monday afternoon, and his son was Med-flighted to VCU Medical Center with a gunshot wound. 

Sources told CBS 6 the suspect spoke to detectives.

"Regardless of what he's done, I love him,” said his aunt who didn’t want her name used.  “But my heart goes out to those families. I hurt for them. It's devastating."

The two scenes are 16 miles apart, but police said evidence in Dinwiddie linked Bland to the scene off River Road in Chesterfield.

"Some neighbors noticed a vehicle near the Fassett house and provided a description and a vehicle matching that description was located at  the Dinwiddie address," said Chesterfield Police Maj. Terry Patterson.

A UPS driver discovered one of the Fassetts behind a shattered door while making a delivery Monday.  Police said that was at 5:45 Monday evening, about six hours after the murders.

"He always had a lot of anger in him,” said Bland's aunt.  She said Bland, Sr. had struggled with his son for years.  Deputies confirm in August 2010 Bland, Sr. shot his son in self-defense, after an argument.

Neighbors knew about that situation but never thought it could get worse. 

"None of us lives in a glass house,” said neighbor Odessa Winfield.  “We don't know what people are experiencing.  With my background as a social worker, I should've reached out."

Police said handguns were used in both the Dinwiddie and Chesterfield murders and are waiting on ballistics test results to see if the same gun was used.

Herbert Bland, Jr. has two first-degree murder warrants awaiting his release from the hospital.  Family members said they were not allowed to visit him at VCU Medical Center.