A man wearing full-body armor fatally shot four people, including a mother and the 3-month-old baby she was cradling, a Florida sheriff said Sunday.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said a woman called authorities Saturday night to report a mysterious vehicle outside her residence with a man inside who allegedly told her, “God sent me here to speak with one of your daughters.” The man and his vehicle were nowhere to be found deputies arrived six minutes later.
At about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, a deputy heard a barrage of bullets being fired two miles away. When deputies got to the scene, they noticed a truck on fire, and a man, who would later be identified as 33-year-old Brian Riley, outfitted in camo, body armor, a bulletproof vest, as well as knee protection and head protection. Riley retreated inside the home where gunfire ensued before he surrendered after being shot once.
Riley was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and booked upon his release. While en route to the hospital, he attempted to steal an officer’s gun, but was unsuccessful.
Judd said there must have been “at least dozens if not hundreds” of rounds exchanged between Riley and the deputies. In addition to the mother and baby, a 40-year-old man was found dead inside the home. The infant’s 62-year-old grandmother was fatally shot in a second house on the property. The family’s dog was also killed. An 11-year-old was airlifted to a hospital to undergo surgery to address multiple gunshot wounds, and she is expected to survive.
“We just know we had a madman with a lot of guns that shot and killed innocent people,” Judd said.
Authorities are unsure why Riley, who lives about 20 miles away from the residence, chose this particular family. He confessed to deputies during his interview to being on methamphetamine. His girlfriend admitted that he had been acting erratically over the last week, and claimed to be receiving visions from God. Riley was also diagnosed with PTSD.
Riley served four years in the Marines, and three years with the reserve. He spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan as a designated sharpshooter.
— Polk County Sheriff ? (@PolkCoSheriff) September 5, 2021
Bury him up under the jail.