A gunman killed four people, including a mother still holding her now-deceased baby, on Sept. 5 morning in a neighborhood in Lakeland, Florida.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press briefing that Marine Corps veteran Bryan Riley killed a 33-year-old mother and her three-month-old baby boy, the child’s 62-year-old grandmother, and 40-year-old neighbor Justice Gleason during an attack in two separate houses on the same property at 4:30 a.m.
Riley also killed the family dog and shot an 11-year-old girl multiple times who was rushed to the Tampa General Hospital and was alive and “doing well,” Judd said.
No law enforcement officers were injured during a gunfight with Riley.
According to Judd, officers found Riley’s white truck on fire when they arrived at the scene and that Riley was “totally outfitted in body armor and looked as though he was ready to engage us in an active shooter situation” but had no firearm.
Riley surrendered shortly after being shot once by a police officer, but “jumped up and tried to grab the Lakeland police officer’s gun” while he was being treated by emergency medical responders.
Judd said that Riley described himself as a “survivalist” and that he admitted to taking meth.
“They begged for their lives, but I shot them anyway,” Riley allegedly told officers, according to Judd.
Judd said at another press briefing that Riley had no criminal history and had no connections to the victims at the current point of investigation.
Judd also said that Riley, who had served as a sharpshooter in Iraq and Afghanistan, appeared to have been suffering from mental health issues.
Riley’s girlfriend told investigators that he had post-traumatic stress disorder and that he claimed that God directly talked to him.
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