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Four people – a man, an infant and the child’s mother and grandmother – lost their lives early Sunday in what a Florida sheriff’s deputy called an “active shooting” carried out by a former Marine.
Florida man in bulletproof vest kills 4 people, including baby in mother’s arms
The shooting took place at a property outside Lakeland, Florida, and escalated when the suspect, dressed in a bulletproof vest, engaged in a shootout with police before surrendering to authorities.
He later tried to wrestle a gun from an officer at a hospital, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
“This man killed four people this morning, tried to kill our officers and then surrendered,” Judd said Sunday.
Inside a home on the property, a 40-year-old man, a 3-month-old baby and the baby’s 33-year-old mother were found dead. The baby’s 62-year-old grandmother was found in a second home on the property, Judd said.
An 11-year-old girl had been shot several times and was flown to Tampa General Hospital for surgery. She is expected to recover.
Another child who had been missing earlier was located alive and kicking, Judd said.
The family’s dog, Diogi, was also fatally shot, he added.
The suspect, identified as Brian Riley, 33, lives in Brandon, Florida, about 20 miles from where the shooting occurred. At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Judd said there did not appear to be any connection between the suspect and the victims, and struggled to explain why the suspect chose that particular family and property.
“We just know we had a crazy guy with a lot of guns who shot and killed innocent people,” he said.
The suspect was treated for injuries sustained during his apprehension and released. He is currently in the custody of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, according to Judd.
The quadruple homicide began Saturday night when a woman called authorities about a suspicious vehicle and said a man who was parked outside her home told her, “God sent me here to talk to one of your daughters,” Judd told reporters Sunday.
An officer responded within six minutes and did not find the suspect or the car at the residence, he said.
About nine hours later, around 4:30 a.m., an officer two miles away heard two bursts of automatic gunfire. Officers responded and calls also began coming in reporting an active shooting, the sheriff said.