Ex-Marine Bryan Riley Denied Bond in Shooting That Killed Four People, Including Infant Boy

Bryan Riley, a former Marine accused of killing four people and engaging in a shootout with police, was denied bond in his first court appearance Monday.

Riley, 33, is facing numerous charges—including four counts of first-degree murder—after allegedly fatally shooting multiple people and injuring an 11-year-old girl.

The victims include Justice Gleason, 40; an unidentified 33-year-old woman; a 3-month-old boy; and the 62-year-old grandmother of the infant. The 11-year-old girl, whose name has not been released, was shot at least seven times but survived.

The shootings occurred around 4 a.m. ET Sunday in Lakeland, Florida.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced Riley's arrest in a news conference on Sunday afternoon, calling the suspect "evil in the flesh."

Judd said Riley told investigators during an interrogation, "They begged for their lives, but I shot them anyway."

The sheriff said Saturday evening the police received a call regarding a suspicious person and vehicle in North Lakeland. The female caller said a man—later identified as Riley—said God sent him to the house to speak with her suicidal daughter Amber. The woman said there was no Amber at that home.

By the time law enforcement arrived at the home about six minutes later, the man was gone. Officers searched the area for 22 minutes, Judd said.

Nine hours later, a lieutenant heard gunfire from the area of the original call, according to police. When law enforcement arrived back at the property, they discovered a truck in the front yard on fire and a path of glow sticks leading officers from the road to the residence.

Officers found a man in the yard dressed in camouflage, but with no firearm. The man then ran into the house and officers heard more gunfire, as well as "a woman screaming and a baby whimpering," Judd said.

The police lieutenant and other officers then tried to enter the house through the front door but it was blocked. Officers then went to the rear of the house and entered, and were immediately confronted with the suspect who police said was now wearing "a bulletproof vest" and other gear.

A shootout occurred, and Riley was wounded. He later surrendered. Investigators said on the way to the hospital and at the hospital, Riley reportedly said he was on methamphetamines and that he was a "survivalist."

No officers were injured in the incident.

Bryan Riley Florida shooting booking photo
Bryan Riley, a former Marine accused of killing four people and engaging in a shootout with police, was denied bond in his first court appearance Monday. Polk County Sheriff's Office

Judd said Sunday that Riley's girlfriend was cooperating with authorities. She said that Riley's behavior had become more erratic in the past week, stating that he said he believed he could speak to God.

Authorities said Riley was a Marine for four years, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, before being honorably discharged and spending three more years in the Reserves. He had "virtually no criminal history," Judd said, and didn't appear to have any ties to the Lakeland area or the victims.

The sheriff added that investigating the crime scene "will take hours and hours and hours and days."

State Attorney Brian Haas said at Sunday's news conference that the big question is "why?"

"Unfortunately and so frustrating that we will not know the why today or maybe ever," Haas said.