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Florida sheriff calls capturing suspect a ‘coward,’ deputies would have ‘shot him up rather a lot’

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The accused Florida gunman accused of killing 4 random folks—together with a mom and a 3-month-old child—is a “coward” for surrendering to police whereas unarmed with the intention to be arrested, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd mentioned Sunday. 

“It might have been good if he would have come out with a gun,” Judd instructed a information convention, in response to Reuters. “We’d have shot him up rather a lot. However he didn’t as a result of he was a coward. When somebody chooses to surrender, we take them into custody peacefully.”


Bryan Riley, 33, a former Marine sharpshooter, is accused of killing 40-year-old Justice Gleason, a 33-year-old feminine, and a 3-month-old toddler boy. A 62-year-old girl, who was believed to be the grandmother of the toddler, was additionally discovered deceased within the condominium subsequent door. The household’s canine, Diogi, was additionally shot and killed. The killings had been random, police mentioned.

After the killings, authorities mentioned he wore physique armor and interesting in a gunfight with police and deputies earlier than surrendering together with his arms up.

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Judd mentioned that the suspect even tried to strip a gun from a police officer whereas on a hospital gurney. When he was interrogated, he allegedly instructed authorities that they “begged for his or her lives” and he “killed them anyway.”

On Saturday night, he was reportedly noticed in Lakeland and aroused suspicion. He returned the block early Sunday and put down glowsticks resulting in the house, authorities mentioned. Judd mentioned the intention was to attract officers “into an ambush.”

Gunshots had been heard by a close-by officer and there was an enormous police response, the Related Press reported. When officers arrived, authorities mentioned Riley was outdoors and wearing camouflage. They mentioned he ran again inside the house and the officers heard extra gunfire and a “girl scream and a child whimper.”

Officers tried to enter the entrance of the home, nevertheless it was barricaded. Once they circled to the again, they encountered Riley, who appeared to have placed on full physique armor together with head and knee coverings and a bulletproof vest.


Authorities exchanged heavy gunfire, with dozens “if not tons of of rounds” fired, earlier than Riley retreated again into the house, in response to the sheriff.

Officers heard cries for assist inside the house, however had been not sure whether or not there have been further shooters and feared the house was booby-trapped. A courageous sergeant rushed in and grabbed the 11-year-old lady who had been shot at the very least seven instances.

She instructed deputies there have been three {dead} folks inside, Judd mentioned, including that she was rushed into surgical procedure and was anticipated to outlive.

Authorities declined to say what number of instances the victims had been shot or the place they had been within the residence, however mentioned they had been all hiding and huddling in worry. 

Authorities mentioned Riley’s girlfriend of 4 years, whom he lived with, had been cooperative and was shocked, saying he was by no means violent however suffered from PTSD and had grow to be more and more erratic.

She mentioned he’d spent the earlier week on what he known as a mission from God, stockpiling provides that he mentioned had been for Hurricane Ida victims, together with $1,000 value of cigars. Riley allegedly instructed police that he had been taking methamphetamine

“It was an evil, evil, evil act by a really well-trained navy one who knew higher and nonetheless did it,” Judd told Fox News.


“What makes it so gut-wrenching is that these harmless folks died and so they had been randomly picked out. This wasn’t a combat that went unhealthy, this wasn’t a disturbance that escalated,” he mentioned. “Once you see a 3-month-old, little, lovely child boy deceased within the arms of his mom, the place she’s attempting to guard him, and she or he’s murdered, he’s murdered, and his daddy’s murdered — that’s fairly tough.”

Fox Information’ Danielle Wallace Paul Finest and the Related Press contributed to this report

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