Suspect in Quadruple Murder 'Tortured' 11-Year-Old, Who Survived 7 Bullet Holes: Sheriff

Bryan Riley, the suspect in a quadruple murder, told Florida investigators he "tortured" an 11-year-old girl after he allegedly shot four members of her family.

"He asked her, 'Where's Amber?'" Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters Thursday. "He counted down, 3, 2, 1, and he shot her."

The incident took place early Sunday morning in Lakeland, Florida. Riley, a 33-year-old former Marine, remains in jail on multiple charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

According to police, Riley told authorities he questioned the young girl about the whereabouts of someone named Amber. There was no one named Amber at the home on North Socrum Loop Road.

The sheriff said Riley told investigators, "God told me to kill everyone and to rescue Amber because she's a victim of sex trafficking."

There were no victims of sex crimes in the house, Judd noted.

"It was all a figment of his imagination," he said.

The 11-year-old told authorities she was asleep when her father woke her up and told her to hide in the bathroom. The suspect eventually took her into the living room, she said, where he proceeded to fire at her when she couldn't provide answers.

The girl told investigators that the suspect told her, "Do you know why I killed your parents? They're sex traffickers."

The suspect thought he killed her, Judd said, but the girl played dead.

"I can't underscore enough her bravery," Judd said. "I can't underscore enough her ability to think through of how to survive when she has just witnessed her father, her baby brother and her stepmother viciously murdered right before her very eyes."

The sheriff said the girl suffered seven bullet holes as she was hit in her hands, thigh and stomach. She has undergone four surgeries and is in intensive care.

One victim who was killed in the incident has been identified as Justice Gleason, 40. The other deceased victims were described as a 33-year-old woman, Gleason's partner; the couple's 3-month-old boy; and the baby's 62-year-old grandmother.

Suspect in Quadruple Murder ‘Tortured’ 11-year-old
Bryan Riley, the suspect in a quadruple murder, told Florida investigators he “tortured” an 11-year-old girl after he shot four members of her family. Polk County Sheriff's Office

Judd described Riley as "well-trained." The suspect was a Marine for four years, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, before being honorably discharged. He then spent three more years in the Reserves.

Before the shooting, the sheriff said the suspect did "reconnaissance" on the residence, slashed the tires of two vehicles in the driveway, planned diversions, and positioned his truck three times so he would have a quick escape.

"He was a coward," Judd said of the suspect during the press conference. "An absolute coward. He looks like a man, but he's not a man. He's a sniveling coward."

Judd said Thursday donations to the family to cover expenses such as hospital bills for the girl can be made through the sheriff's office website.