The former Marine accused of killing a Florida family of four in a brutal mass shooting thought the parents were hiding a sex trafficking victim, according to police.
Florida Marine thought shooting victims were “sex traffickers” and tortured 11-year-old girl for information
Bryan Riley, 33, told police he “tortured” the sole survivor of the shooting, an 11-year-old girl, to find “Amber,” a sex crime victim who doesn’t exist, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a news conference Thursday.
“This is all fiction. All made up by him,” Judd said. “There were no victims of sex crimes in that house.”
Quadruple murder suspect Bryan Riley is driven from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Lakeland, Florida, on Sunday. (Kimberly C. Moore/)
Riley left the friend’s home around 7:10 p.m. Saturday and about 20 minutes later was knocking on the door, telling the woman who answered that he was looking for Amber.
Justice Gleason, 40, was mowing the lawn and told Riley the same thing the woman did: there was no “Amber,” according to police.
Riley then went to Brandon’s house, got into a fight with his girlfriend and left around 1 a.m. in a pickup truck, dressed in camouflage and armed with a backpack.
Upon returning to the house, Riley did “reconnaissance,” he told police, repositioning his van three times to find the quickest escape route and determining the entrances to the house
Wearing a bulletproof vest, Riley allegedly went first to the back house and shot through the door and a rear window, then killed the 62-year-old grandmother.
He then entered the main house, shooting through the rear glass door, which he knew was enough noise to wake the family, according to police.
Riley eventually entered the bathroom and killed Gleason, the woman and the baby, who was still in her mother’s arms. He then dragged the 11-year-old into the living room and repeatedly asked her where Amber was, the girl told police in an interview from her hospital room.
When she told him Amber wasn’t there, he allegedly counted to three and then shot her in the thigh. He then did it again and shot her again.
Riley has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted first-degree murder of law enforcement officers.
The 11-year-old girl has undergone four surgeries so far and remains in intensive care