Ex-Marine accused of killing 3 adults, infant remains in jail without bail

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A man who worked security at an Orlando church went before a judge for the first time since Polk County deputies said he killed four people, including a baby.

Sheriff Grady Judd identified the gunman as 33-year-old Bryan Riley, a former Marine who served as a sharpshooter in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Judd said Riley seemed to have targeted the family at random.

READ: ‘Evil in the flesh’: Ex-Marine kills 3 adults and infant during rampage in Polk County, sheriff says

Riley is accused of killing four people: two women, a man, and a 3-month-old.

Judd said Riley walked up to the family with a strange request.

A woman who noticed Riley told deputies he told her, “God sent me here to speak to one of your daughters,” Sheriff Grady Judd said Sunday during a news conference.

However, the vehicle was no longer there by the time deputies arrived, Judd said. Deputies scoured the area looking for the vehicle, but couldn’t find it.

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Several hours later around 4:30 a.m., a lieutenant responding to another scene a few miles away heard “a volley of automatic gunfire,” Judd said.

Deputies responded to that scene and shortly after, the sheriff’s office received calls of an active shooter and initiated its active shooter protocol.

When deputies arrived at the scene they found a truck on fire and heard a popping noise. Deputies also noticed breakable lights lining the path from the road to the house.

“As we approached, we saw an individual totally outfitted and body armor and looked as if he was ready to engage us all in an active shooter situation, but we didn’t see a firearm,” Judd said.

The man then ran back into the house. Deputies then heard another volley of gunfire and a woman scream and a baby whimper, Judd said. A lieutenant tried to enter the front of the house, but it was barricaded, so he ran to the back of the house where deputies were able to enter and gunfire ensued.

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Three deputies were pinned down by gunfire through the front of the residence.

The suspect eventually came out with his hands raised and was taken into custody after being shot once, Judd said.

Deputies inside found an 11-year-old girl shot multiple times who was still alive. She was transported to a Tampa hospital.

The girl told deputies that there were three dead people in the house.

Deputies then found a man, woman and infant in the mother’s arms in the house, all shot to death, Judd said.

Judd said the three victims were “huddling and hiding in fear” in the house. The three victims were a 40-year-old male, a 33-year-old female and a 3-month-old boy.

The family’s dog was also fatally shot, Judd said.

Deputies then went to the house behind it and found a 62-year-old woman shot to death, who was later identified as the woman’s mother and infant’s grandmother.

Riley told deputies that he was “taking meth” and also described himself as a survivalist.

Judd referred to Riley as “evil in the flesh.”

While being treated at the hospital, Riley tried to grab a Lakeland police officer’s gun, Judd said. He was given medication to render him unable to fight.

PHOTOS: 4 fatally shot including infant in unincorporated Polk County, suspect has shootout with deputies

Judd said “dozens if not hundreds of rounds” were fired overall.

“This is a horrific incident,” State Attorney Brian Haas said during a news conference Sunday. “Our community and many families are hurting this morning. We are committed to working closely with law enforcement, getting to the bottom of this. I know there are a lot of questions, more questions than answers at this point. But the bottom line is we’re all going to work together. We’re going to provide support to the families of these victims. And we want answers certainly, but we’re going to get justice for the victims and for our community.”

During Riley’s court appearance, he said he plans to hire an attorney. The judge said she will appoint a public defender in the meantime.

He will remain in jail without bail.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.