The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Gunman kills 4, including mom still holding baby


Four people are dead including a mother still cradling her now-deceased baby after a massive gunfight early Sunday with a former Marine a Florida sheriff said was “ready for battle” and so aggressive he tried to wrestle a gun from police from his hospital gurney after being captured.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said 33-year-old Bryan Riley appeared to be suffering from mental health issues and had been slowly unraveling for weeks, repeatedly telling his girlfriend that he could communicat­e directly with God.

After a gunfight with police and deputies — where dozens “if not hundreds of rounds” were exchanged outside a Lakeland home, Judd said, authoritie­s found an 11-year-old girl shot multiple times, plus four deceased victims. They included a 33-year-old mother still holding her 3month old baby boy and the infant’s 62year-old grandmothe­r who lived at a neighborin­g home, and a 40-year-old man

Riley, who served as a sharp shooter in both Iraq and Afghanista­n, seemingly targeted the family at random, Judd said during a press conference Sunday.

Preliminar­y evidence shows the 40-yearold Justice Gleason just happened to be an unlucky stranger out mowing his lawn Saturday night when Riley drove by, saying God told him to stop because Gleason’s daughter was going to commit suicide.

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