Sheriff Tells Killers 'Chill Out' and 'Quit Murdering' as Homicides Soar: 'Eat a MoonPie'

A Florida Sheriff has told killers to "chill out" and "eat a MoonPie" as officers grapple with a surge in homicide cases.

Outspoken Sheriff Grady Judd of the Polk County Sheriff's Office responded to an increase in homicides in the area during the second half of the year.

Speaking to WFLA on Tuesday, Sheriff Judd said: "Just chill out, drink a 7up, eat a MoonPie, quit murdering people."

Sheriff Judd had responded to the network's reports that 34 people had been killed this year, already equal to last year's total.

Of those, 27 people had been murdered, according to the sheriff's office, and 23 of the victims had been killed since June.

Speaking to WFLA on Tuesday, Sheriff Judd said: "What's that all about? Just calm down. Quit murdering your friends and your family. I know that is a novel idea for some people.

"Our murder rate is up while our total crime rate is down, but even in the demand for service, see the angst."

Among the homicides includes a mass shooting where members of a North Lakeland family were shot to death by a man who they didn't know.

Brian Riley, 33, was formally charged by a grand jury in a 22-count indictment that includes murder as well as attempted murder charges.

He is accused of shooting four people to death inside the home, including an infant child.

Sheriff Judd said Riley believed he had been told by God to rescue a child sex trafficking victim who he wrongly thought was inside the house. Riley was seen wearing body armor and fired at least 100 shots in the main house as well as a smaller one in the back.

Murder of Three Co-workers

Just weeks later, Shaun Runyon, 39, confessed multiple times to murdering his three co-workers at a rental house.

Using a baseball bat, Runyon attacked his supervisor and a second colleague while they were sleeping before he entered a third bedroom.

But, when the third colleague fought back Runyon pulled out a knife and stabbed the man.

The victim managed to run outside before he collapsed and died on the front porch, Judd said.

Runyon has since been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Riley and Runyon.

Newsweek has contacted the Polk County Sheriff's Office for comment.

Grady Judd is known for being outspoken
Sheriff Grady Judd told killers to "quit murdering" and to "eat a MoonPie." In this picture, Sheriff Grady Judd poses for a police photo. Polk County Sheriff's Office