Bryan Riley, a former U.S. Marine, shot dead four people including a mother and her three-month-old baby in an unprovoked attack in Lakeland near Tampa in central Florida. An 11-year-old girl, who was shot seven times, has undergone surgery.
Riley also engaged in a tussle with the cops and tried to grab an officer's gun while undergoing treatment for the injuries sustained during the shootout.
Heavily Armored During Shootout
ABC News reported that Riley, who had no connection with his victims, shot dead Justice Gleason, a 40-year-old man who was mowing his lawn, on Saturday night. Before the police could arrive, Riley fled from the scene.
On Sunday, he returned and killed the 33-year-old woman and her baby, who was cradled in her arms, and her 62-year-old woman. Not done with killing, Riley then went on to kill the family's dog.
Addressing a press conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said that after returning home on Sunday at 4.30 am, the former marine, created a path outside his house using glowsticks.
When the police arrived at the spot after hearing the sounds of gun shots, they found an unarmed Riley, dressed in camouflage standing outside his white truck, set on fire.
Upon noticing the police, Riley went inside the victim's house and opened fire, killing the two women and the baby. The cops spotted Riley again, this time wearing a complete body armor, including head and knee coverings and a bulletproof vest, Judd said.
Speaking with God?
Riley, who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and occasional depression according to his girlfriend, had undertaken tours of Iraq and Afghanistan as a sharpshooter. He was working as a bodyguard and security guard.
The Guardian reported that his girlfriend revealed to the authorities that Riley's mental conditioned worsened a week ago after which he claimed to be speaking with God.
"He said at one point to our detectives: 'They begged for their lives and I killed them anyway'," Judd revealed. He also revealed that he was allegedly high on methamphetamine.
The Polk County Sheriff also revealed that while getting treated at the hospital, Riley tried to take away an officer's gun. "They had to fight with him again in the emergency room," Judd said adding that he was finally tied down.