Bryan Riley Biography – Wiki
Bryan Riley is a Florida man and former Navy sniper accused of fatally shooting a baby and three other people in a “mass murder” at a Polk County home before turning himself into police. An 11-year-old girl was shot multiple times, but she is expected to survive. Authorities believe Riley did not know the victims. He was wounded during a shootout with officers and was treated at a hospital before being admitted to jail.
Police responded to the home around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, Polk County officials said at a news conference. No officer or police officer was injured in two shootings that occurred between Riley and responding police, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. Riley, who was wearing bulletproof vests and other protective gear and had multiple weapons, told police that he had used methamphetamine.
Riley served in the United States Marine Corps from January 2007 to March 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was in the 1st Battalion 6 Marines and the 1st Battalion 9 Marines and was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina at one point. He was posted to Ramadi in Iraq in 2008 and Marjah in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, according to his LinkedIn.
After being honorably discharged from the Marines, he spent time in the Reserves and was also a guard team supervisor for Academi, a private military contractor originally founded by retired Navy SEAL Erik Prince as Blackwater, from 2013 to 2014. he said on LinkedIn. He then worked as an executive protection agent for ESS Global Corp from August 2017 to February 2019, where he said that he “provided close protection to clients in various countries.”
Riley’s most recent employer is listed on his LinkedIn as Griffin Defense, where he said he has been a protection specialist since August 2017. He wrote that he, “performed close protection in areas like Mexico, Nigeria, Paris, and Peru.”
Riley, who used a pseudonym on his Facebook profile, shared a fundraiser for “Stop Soldier Suicide” in March 2021. His Facebook page shows him while he was in the Marines and while working in private security around the world. world. Riley’s girlfriend posted photos showing that she proposed in July 2021 and they were engaged. His profile also shows him with his young children.
Bryan Riley is 33-years-old.
Polk County Shooting Suspect
Judd said the sheriff’s office received a call about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2021, about a “suspicious vehicle” or person on North Socrum Loop Road in the unincorporated county area north of the city of Lakeland.
“We had a deputy respond who talked to the lady who said that she noticed this suspicious vehicle parked beside North Socrum Loop Road and a strange person in it who said, ‘God sent me here to speak to one of your daughters.’ Upon arrival, which was only six minutes, the vehicle was not here, the suspect was not here. We spent the next 20-plus minutes scouring the area. ”
Judd said at this point of the investigation, “We find zero connection between our shooter, our murderer, and our victims. I have lived in Brandon. ” He said the area where the shooting occurred is a “mix of rural and suburban. A nice community, wonderful people. ”
Riley asked a man who was mowing his lawn, who police believe to be Gleason, the man killed several hours later, to speak to his daughter, Amber, but the man told him, “Nope, there’s no one here by the name of Amber, ”Judd said. He said the suspect told the witnesses, “I’m here to talk to Amber. God sent me here because she is going to commit suicide. ” But the witnesses said they confirmed there was no Amber in the home and told the suspect to leave and called police.
Judd said deputies responded and searched the area for the vehicle for about 22 minutes, but could not locate it. “Of course, it’s Saturday night, it’s a busy evening, and we didn’t find the vehicle at all,” Judd said.
About 9 hours after the first incident at the Polk County home, about 4:30 am, a lieutenant was about two miles away at the intersection of Highway 98 North and Duff Road on another call and heard “two volleys of automatic gunfire” in the direction of the shooting scene, Judd said. According to the sheriff, the deputy was west of the scene, about two miles away.
“As you can well expect, early in the morning when it’s very quiet, sound travels. He immediately notified his deputies to respond to the area and within the same few seconds we began getting 911 calls of an active shooter, ”Judd said. “We have an active shooter protocol. Everyone responds. The nearest municipality was the city of Lakeland. The Lakeland Police Department who are our colleagues and friends and our partners they immediately sent all of their resources as well as all the resources that we had in the surrounding districts. ”
Judd said when they “tactically approached” the area the responding deputies and officers saw a “truck on fire” and heard a “popping noise in the front yard.” He said the “deputies also noticed these breakable lights that were lining the path from the road up to the house.” He later described the lights as glow sticks.
Judd said as they approached the house the deputies saw “an individual totally outfitted in body armor. And he looked as if he was ready to engage us all in an active shooter situation. But we didn’t see a firearm. Now understand, we’re way out in the country area, so it’s not unusual to see people in camo. But he was garbed up and it appeared as if he had a bulletproof vest on. And he immediately ran back into this house. We didn’t know who he was and we didn’t see a gun. ”
Judd added, “At that moment in time, we heard another volley and a woman scream and a baby whimper.”
Pasco County Lieutenant Duane Thompkins tried to enter the house through the front door, but it was barricaded, Judd said. He went around back and entered the house and encountered the gunman and they exchanged fire before Thompkins backed out of the house. Judd said they believe Thompkins shot Riley during that gun battle. Riley then began shooting at deputies in front of the house, Judd said.
“Responding units then directed gunfire to get three deputies out of the way that was pinned down by gunfire through the front of the residence. At that moment in time, everything went silent. Air support was up. Our helicopter saw a suspect coming out with his hands raised. And we took him into custody. He was shot one time. We handcuffed him, ”Judd said. Riley was then taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital, Judd said. Riley was wearing a bulletproof vest, camo, knee protection, and head protection, Judd said.
At the home, deputies then called for anyone inside to come out and heard the 11-year-old girl calling for help. She was found with multiple gunshot wounds and airlifted to a hospital in Tampa, Judd said.
“We feared that there was going to be booby traps there because of what we saw. We looked into what we now believe to be the suspect’s truck, ”Judd said. He had everything down to blood-stop kits, first-aid kits and he was ready for battle. Now he’s in custody, we’ve gotten the 11-year-old, she looks our deputies in the eyes and said, ‘There are 3 more dead people in the house.’ We made entry, first with our robots to make sure there were no explosive devices. And in the house, the main house, we discovered a man,
Judd said the suspect told officers, “You know why I did this,” and told them there were three people in the house. According to Judd, the suspect was driving a US Marine Corps Florida license plate vehicle and described himself as a “survivor.” He also told officers that he was “taking methamphetamine,” Judd said.
He said there were, “at least dozens, if not hundreds, of shots, fired this morning between our suspect and our officers who were directing fire at him to try to prevent him from shooting at us. It was a difficult situation. And he supposed at least two shootings in close order with the suspect. As I have been told, he will be treated and released from the hospital and, obviously, will be admitted to jail. Our detectives and the crime scene are working on the charges as you can wait for what they are. ”
“If he’s not evil enough, he shot and killed the family dog. And if the ironies aren’t horrible enough, this is a more horrible irony, “Judd said.” The dog was named Diogi. And the dog is named after one of our K-9s who was shot and killed in compliance with duty together with the K-9 trainer. ”
Judd said, “We don’t know the answer … and we may never know, how did he end up in that house?” And he lived in Brandon, and then he was able to find his way back to that same house nine hours later. His girlfriend said she made no statements about being violent or dangerous to those people at that residence. He just shows up in the early stage … It turned out that he was the unlucky one mowing the grass and that’s where Bryan stopped. ”
One of the victims has been identified as Judge Gleason, 40. The other victims have not been identified, because Florida’s Marsy Law requires permission from the victim’s family to reveal the names. Police said one of the victims was a 33-year-old woman, who was shot and killed while she was holding a 3-month-old baby in her arms. The baby was also fatally shot. A 62-year-old woman, mother, and grandmother of two of the other victims, was the fourth victim.
Police said Riley also killed the victims’ family dog, named Diogi, in honor of a K-9 from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office who was shot and killed along with Sheriff Matt Williams during the persecution in 2006, Judd said. The 11-year-old Lake Gibson High School student had seven gunshot wounds and underwent surgery at a Tampa hospital. Judd said, “She is certainly expected to recover and we thank God for that.”
Riley attempted to take a gun from a Lakeland police officer while he was in the hospital, Judd said at a news conference. “While being treated, he jumped up and tried to grab a Lakeland police officer’s gun and they had to fight him again in the emergency room,” Judd said. “Once again they tied him up, gave him medication so that he could not continue fighting and they continued treating him.”
Judd said: “While he is interviewing us, he is trying to convince us that he is mentally ill. He is very in tune with his statements and admissions. But at one point he tells our detectives: “They begged for their lives and I killed them anyway.” He is wicked in the flesh. He was a rabid animal. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family of the injured and deceased. It’s just a blessing from the good Lord that during the shooting and subsequent barrage of shootings, my officers and our colleague from the Lakeland Police Department weren’t shot to death as well. ”
Judd said it will take hours, hours, and days for him to complete the crime scene investigation. He said they have located two or three firearms and different calibers of ammunition casings inside the home. He said they believe some of the victims died before police arrived, but they don’t know exactly when the situation started. An officer heard the shots around 4:23 a.m.
Judd said, “He’s trying to play, puns, with the detectives. Which is a clear indicator that he knew exactly what he was doing.… We just know that we had a crazy man with a lot of guns who shot and killed innocent people. … When you see someone so heartless, so calculated that they will shoot a mother holding on to her 3-month-old baby, kill the baby and shoot the family dog … ”
Judd told reporters at a press conference:
Just because you have mental health problems doesn’t mean you are not criminally liable. He is criminally liable. He played word games with us during the interviews to try to set a defense. That doesn’t work. But at the end of the day, when you look, this guy, prior to this morning was a war hero. He fought for his country in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was a decorated military veteran. And this morning he’s a cold, calculated murderer. This nation doesn’t do enough for those that are mentally ill. There are millions that have mental health episodes that don’t do this. So because people have trouble with mental illness doesn’t mean they’re going to be mass murderers. This was a mass shooting. this was an active shooter event. But my goodness. As horrible as it is, we see mass shooters at theaters and at churches and at schools and at businesses. But who would ever think that in a community with a 49-year crime low that you would have a mass shooter at 4:30 on a Sunday morning in a quiet, safe neighborhood? And it’s evident when you look at his lack of criminal history. When we’re dealing with these active shooters, these active assailants, these are not traditional criminals. This guy was a mass murderer.
Judd said there are no known communications linking this conduct to our last couple of weeks in Afghanistan, referring to the withdrawal of the military from the country and the deaths of 13 service members, including the Marines. “But what we do know is that we have a guy who was getting delusional and his girlfriend said that he got progressively worse as the week progressed, but still he was not being violent, according to her. Or threaten any violence, ”Judd said.
Accused & Arrested
Polk Co. sheriffs deputies escorting 33-year-old Bryan Riley to county jail.
— Jessica Eley FOX 35 (@FOX35Jessica) September 5, 2021
Riley, 33, who describes himself as a survivor, told officers, “You know why I did this,” after he was taken into custody, Judd said at the news conference. Judd said that nine hours before the murders, Riley went to the same home near Lakeland, Florida, and told a man and a woman outside that “God sent me here to talk to one of his daughters.” Judd said Riley was told that the woman he was looking for did not live there. Judd said that Riley told his girlfriend that God had spoken to her and that he had to save a woman named Amber, who was going to kill herself.
“He was a Marine. He did four years of service and was honorably discharged and served another three years as a reserve. He was sent to Iraq in 2008, Afghanistan in 2009-2010, and during that time period he was designated as a sniper, ”Judd said of Riley, who lives in Brandon, Florida, about 35 miles from the scene of the shooting. . Riley works as a security contractor, Judd said. He had a concealed gun license, Judd said.
“We located his girlfriend, who was absolutely cooperative and said that she had been dating him for about four years. She said she had PTSD, ”Judd said. Riley’s girlfriend told investigators that she had seen him depressed, but never violent. “She said that a week ago today, last Sunday, he did security at a church in Orlando. And he came home and said that God was speaking to him and that now he could speak directly to God. And she said that she had never seen that kind of behavior. But he again he wasn’t violent, ”Judd said. The sheriff added: “Virtually no criminal record. When he was a teenager he had a small position and then almost nothing. We are not dealing with a traditional criminal here. But what we are dealing with is someone who obviously had mental health problems, at least this last week, he had PTSD and if we follow him to the army, we don’t know. ”
Police are still investigating and charges have yet to be brought against Riley, authorities said. It was not immediately clear if he hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Riley’s Girlfriend told investigators
Riley’s girlfriend told investigators that last week he told her, “God told her to go to hurricane relief and bring supplies, so all week she was shopping for supplies so she could take a trip to provide relief from the hurricane. Going”. She said he came home one day, he was getting more erratic. He did not sleep at night. And she bought $ 1,000 worth of cigars to take as a relief gift. And she said God said he should do that, ”Judd said.
Riley’s girlfriend told police that she returned to Brandon after the encounter Saturday night. “So she came home Saturday night and said that she saw a man on a lawnmower and God gave her this vision that her daughter Amber was going to kill herself. So she told this man that she had to talk to her daughter Amber because she was going to kill herself. God told me, ”Judd said. “And the guy said there is no one here by the name of Amber. But he insisted, the guy told him to leave. But he was insistent. The guy we believe is victim 1, we are not absolutely 100% confirmed, we believe, our victim 1, Justicia, goes and looks for another witness, who is one of our victims, she comes to talk to him and they say: ‘Look, friend, there is no Amber here’ “.
Judd added that while he was at the scene, Riley said, “You don’t need to call the police, because I am God’s police.” He spoke to his girlfriend and she said that she told him that she was not talking to God directly. She said that he got angry and said that “there is no room for skeptics in my life, God gave me a gift and I am speaking directly to God.” She said they had never argued like this before. She never threatened anyone. She said he “went to her man cave and she went to bed.”
Riley’s girlfriend, whom he has been dating for about four years, is cooperating with the investigation, Judd said. Judd said that she was “shocked” and that he did not know about drug use. Judd said the information is based on her statements. They are going to search his residence. Judd added: “She is just as mortified and shocked as I think all of us are. She said that she didn’t see it coming or that obviously she would have done something about it. ”
Judd Said He Wishes Riley Hadn’t Surrendered
Judd said no shots were fired after Riley left the house with his hands up.
“It would have been nice if he had come out with a gun and then we could have read a newspaper through it and we would have had a different conversation here this morning,” Judd told reporters. “But when someone decides to surrender, we leave them in custody peacefully. If he had given us a chance, we would have shot him a lot. But he didn’t, because he was a coward. You see, it’s easy to shoot innocent children, babies, and people in the middle of the night when you have the gun and they don’t. But he was not very man. ”
Judd added: “This is God’s country here. Our crime rate in this county is at a 49-year low. Crime has never been this low. You have never been so sure as now. But when you have a wacko like this, the statistics don’t make any difference. This guy was hooked up to drugs, methamphetamine. … He came here for a shootout. We do not know why. Let’s find out “.
“Crazy people with guns are dangerous. Good people with guns keep crazy with guns at bay. And our deputies and police officers were good people with guns this morning, ”Judd said. He told reporters:
I’ve done this job my entire adult life. And I’ve seen a lot of tragedy and a lot of sadness. And there are things you can’t unsee. I will never be able to unsee that mother with that deceased infant in her arms as they both lay there dead. It is a horror of the utmost magnitude. I have seen other horrible events before. This ranks in the top 10, top 5. Maybe top 3. It’s sad when anyone dies at the hands of a murderer. This man is evil in the flesh. It was total unprovoked mass murder and there’s not enough adjectives or descriptives to point out how mad I am at him or how sad I am for the family and anything I said would certainly, anything appropriate to say is not fit for television or social media and I’ve said some pretty outlandish things before. To keep from going down the path about how I really feel, I should say nothing.
Judd said his deputies and his other law enforcement partners in the county train to respond to active shooter situations and those protocols were used during the incident. “Who in the world would expect to have an active shooter in a neighborhood at 4:30 on a Sunday morning?”
Lakeland Police Assistant Chief Sam Taylor, speaking on behalf of the department because Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia was home quarantined with COVID-19, “The scene is absolutely horrible. And it would have been more horrible if we had had police officers or police officers injured. And by the grace of God, I don’t know how they didn’t go. The deputy, the lieutenant got into a shootout at the door, right at the back door. He chose to make a heroic entrance into that house. And then we have other deputies who were ready to run towards the shooting. ”
State Attorney Brian Haas told a news conference Sunday morning: “This is a horrible incident. Our community and many families are suffering this morning. We are committed to working closely with law enforcement to get to the bottom of this. I know there are many questions. More questions than answers right now. But the bottom line is that we will all work together, we will provide support to the families of these victims. We want answers, no doubt, but we are going to obtain justice for the victims and for our community. … There are a lot of things we just don’t know right now. ”
Haas said at a press conference later that afternoon: “The big question we all have is why? And sadly and so frustrating that we won’t know why today, maybe ever. But we know that many people have been greatly affected. Our community has been the victim of this terrible tragedy. It’s unbelievable, given what I saw at the scene, that no law enforcement officer was injured or killed. … It is incredible that we do not have more victims according to the weapons and what we saw at the scene. ”