Fort Lauderdale (US): A man, wearing full body armour fatally shot four people here Sunday. Among the dead were a mother and the three-month-old baby she was cradling. The man then engaged in a massive gunfight with police and deputies before he was wounded and surrendered. Miraculously an 11-year-old girl who was shot seven times survived, police said.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd gave the information during a press conference Sunday. The sheriff said even after 33-year-old Bryan Riley was arrested Sunday morning, he was very aggressive. He tried to wrestle a gun from police as he lay on his hospital gurney.
Judd said Riley is a former Marine who served as a sharpshooter in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He seemed to have targetted his victims at random. Judd said Riley appeared to be suffering from mental health issues. Riley’s girlfriend told authorities he had been slowly unraveling for weeks and repeatedly told her that he could communicate directly with God.
“They begged for their lives and I killed them anyway,” Judd said Riley told them during an interrogation.
Investigators said preliminary evidence shows 40-year-old Justice Gleason just happened to be an unlucky stranger out mowing his lawn Saturday night when Riley drove by his home in Lakeland, about 30 miles east of Tampa. He said God told him to stop because Gleason’s daughter was going to commit suicide. Riley shot him.
A second, unidentified person also confronted Riley. He told the gunman that the story wasn’t true and warned they’d call police if he didn’t leave. Judd referred to the person as a victim but declined to clarify which one.
Authorities responded to the scene but never found Riley. About nine hours later, around 4.30am, Riley returned to the home. He laid out glowsticks to create a path leading to the house to draw officers ‘into an ambush’, Judd said. However, the ambush plan did not work out and the police managed to arrest and arrested Riley.