Two people have been fatally shot and a third person sent to the hospital with gunshot wounds in Spotsylvania County.
Investigators are calling it a murder-suicide, with the initial target of the gunfire surviving the attack and the suspect's mother shot dead before killing himself.
The shooting happened in the 8300 block of McLaws Drive in Chancellor, Va. It is a small community located west of Fredericksburg, nestled in the woods within Chancellorsville Battleground National Park.
Spotsylvania County Sheriff's detectives tell us just after 1 p.m. Monday afternoon, 43-year-old David Anderson shot his 51-year-old sister in the arm inside their home. They say Anderson then chased Laura Reeves next door where he shot her in the abdomen, blasting out the neighbor's front door. When Anderson walked home, investigators say he found his 75-year-old mother standing in the front yard and he shot Jean Anderson dead. He then turned the gun on himself.
"We heard gunshots. Got the dog out. Didn't know if a hunter or somebody was shooting," said neighbor Travis Early.
Early lives three doors down from where the shooting occurred.
" I ran up as close as I could get to where I saw a body," he said. "And I said, 'I see a body, let's call the cops.' Locked the doors. I don't know if there's a shooter out here."
Investigators say they recovered a rifle and handgun at the scene. They told us the mother, son and daughter lived in the house together with the sister's husband.
Officials say they are not sure what triggered the violence and don't know anything about David Anderson.
"We really have no history with him whatsoever, so we're going to have to do some digging and try to figure out exactly who he is and what led up to this," said Capt. Mike Harvey of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.
Capt. Harvey says Laura Reeves was rushed to the hospital and is reported to be in critical, but stable condition.
"We do have a detective at the hospital with the husband right now," said Capt. Harvey. "And obviously the sister, who is just coming out of surgery, it will be a while before we'll have a chance to talk to her."
Early says David Anderson did seem to act oddly at times.
"There were a couple of times where Larry and I, my neighbor over there, would discuss, ‘What is he doing?' He's just kind of pacing, looked kind of strange," said Early.
The shooting death of Jean Anderson is the first murder in Spotsylvania County this year. There were seven in the county last year.