Aunt calls suspect in Chesterfield, Dinwiddie slayings ‘loose cannon’

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The family of a man accused of shooting his father and then was also shot is trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

Herbert C. Bland Jr., of Dinwiddie County, is also accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend and her mother Monday on River Road in Ettrick.

Police said that Bland had several run-ins with his father. In fact, deputies confirmed that Herbert Sr. shot his son in an act of self-defense in August of 2010.

Bland’s family members, who talked to CBS 6 News reporter Jon Burkett Tuesday, also said that the father and son had a tenuous relationship.

One of Bland’s aunts called her nephew a “loose cannon” and said that he had problems with his father’s authority. Still, she said that never would have imagined he would shoot his father or two other people.

“It’s really hard about him being my nephew, I love him dearly… Regardless of what’s he’s done, I still love him and I want him to know that,” Bland’s aunt said. “But my heart goes out to the families that this tragedy has touched.”

Neighbors were similarly shocked and saddened by the slayings.

One woman said another neighbor that called her Tuesday morning remembered Bland Sr. as very supportive person.

“As a community… somehow we have to identify these people. We have to try to reach out and help them,” she said.

Bland will face first degree murder charges when he is released from VCU Medical Center.

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