/  09.05.2021

A 33-year-old former U.S. marine has been arrested after allegedly killing four in Lakeland, Florida.

On Sunday (Sept. 5), WESH Orlando reported that Bryan Riley, a self-described survivalist who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the late 2010s, had been arrested after shooting and killing the family this morning. At the time, Riley, who works as a bodyguard, had been wearing body armor, and when he was arrested, he told authorities that he was on meth.

The incident reportedly began at 4:30 a.m., and Lakeland police and Polk County Sheriff deputies arrived at the scene to find Riley and a truck that was on fire. They soon ended up in a shootout with Riley, who was arrested and subsequently hospitalized after the incident. 

Authorities found the bodies of 40-year-old Justice Gleason, a 33-year-old white female, a 3-month-old White male and a 62-year-old White female at the home. An 11-year-old girl was also shot, but she has been taken into surgery and it’s expected that she will recover.

Riley’s girlfriend of four years told authorities that he suffered from PTSD and depression and that a week ago, he returned from doing a security shift at church and told her that he could speak to God. 

Riley’s girlfriend said that the day before the shooting, Riley told his neighbor, Gleason, that God told him that someone named Amber would be committing suicide. Riley said that Amber was Gleason’s daughter, but Gleason told him that there was no one named Amber at their house. Gleason reportedly said that he would call the police, to which Riley said, “No need to call the cops, I’m the cops for God.” Riley left, but the next day, he returned to the house and killed the family as well as their dog.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd called Riley “evil” and claimed that Riley said, “They begged for their lives and I killed them anyway.”


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