Bryan Riley, an ex-marine now charged with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, and seven counts of attempted first-degree murder on a law enforcement officer, claimed that God talked to him and told him that a girl named Amber was attempting suicide.
So, just after he convinced himself that God had sent him a message, Riley approached a Florida man named Justice Gleason, who was moving the lawn, and told him about Amber. Gleason said there was no one by the name Amber who lived in the house and asked Riley to leave, not knowing that he would later return and kill almost everyone in the house.
Riley got angry with Gleason and left home. He then told his girlfriend about the incident and when she told him he couldn’t possibly speak to God, his answer was “There’s no room for doubters in my life,” as quoted by The Sun.
When his girlfriend went to bed, Riley got dressed in full body armor, took his weapon and headed to Gleason’s house at about 4:30 am. Once there, he shot Gleason’s girlfriend’s mother and went on to kill Gleason, his girlfriend Theresa Lanham, 33, and their 3-month-old baby.
Riley then turned to Gleason’s 11-year-old daughter and asked her to tell him where Amber was. When she said there was no Amber in the house, he shot her in the stomach and then proceeded in firing at her multiple times until he believed she was dead.
— Polk County Sheriff 🚔 Grady Judd (@PolkCoSheriff) September 5, 2021
Riley eventually surrendered. When officers entered the house, they noticed the girl was still alive. She was rushed to the hospital and was treated for the severe gunshots she sustained. Luckily, she survived.
“She did tell some of her relatives, who told us how she did survive. She said, ‘I played dead and I prayed,'” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
When they asked the shooter why he did what he did, his answer was, “the guy on the lawnmower made me really really mad, so I decided to put an ops plan together, and you know when you put an ops plan together, you have to kill everyone.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the 11-year-old girl who was forced to suffer an unspeakable tragedy and lose all her family.
“There is a confirmed amount of 11 gun shot wounds most are below the waist and a broken leg. She also has some damage to her pinky finger and her big toe,” the page says. “Even through this tragedy, somehow this little girl still manages to smile.”