A former Marine survivor maniac shot and killed four people, including a woman and her 3-month-old son, before surrendering to police in central Florida on Sunday, officials said.
The bomber, identified as Brian Riley, a 33-year-old Marine veteran, also injured an 11-year-old girl who underwent surgery after suffering seven gunshot wounds, said Grady Judd, Sheriff of Polk County.
The perpetrator, who has no known connection to the victims, was involved in an exchange of fire with police before surrendering, and later tried to grab a police officer's gun as he was being treated at a hospital for his injury but police subdued him, according to Mr Jade.
A veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Brian Riley worked as a bodyguard and private bodyguard. His partner for four years testified to police that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, according to Mr. Jade.
One week ago, his mental health deteriorated. He told his partner that he had started talking to God, the sheriff said.
"He once told our detectives that 'they were begging for their lives but I killed them anyway,'" Jade added during a second press conference. The perpetrator admitted to using methamphetamine, the sheriff said.
The gunman initially went to the house where the massacre took place on Saturday night and made delusional allegations before leaving when police arrived at the scene.
She returned early Sunday morning and opened fire, killing a 40-year-old mother, her 33-year-old mother and her baby, according to Grady Judd. In a nearby house, he shot and killed the 62-year-old mother of the 33-year-old, the sheriff added.
DEADLY SHOOTING RAMPAGE: Four family members, including an infant, were killed in Lakeland, Florida. Investigators say the suspect was a military veteran. @Alex_Presha has more on the story. https://t.co/9K1LR8FSYY pic.twitter.com/7pk4DMBhGn
- World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) September 6, 2021
"As if all this were not enough, as if he had not already done so much harm, he shot and killed the family dog," Mr Jade added.
Police officers rushed to the point when he was mentioned that a fire rifle fire was heard and found the suspect out, with camouflage and bulletproof. Riley re-entered the house and "heard another gust, a woman screaming and a baby crying." An exchange of fire ensued before the perpetrator came out unarmed and surrendered.
"It would have been good if he had come out armed" because "we would have shot him a lot. "But he did not do it because he is cowardly," said Jade. "When someone chooses to surrender," we simply "arrest him," he added.