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A participant in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brutally murdered an entire family in Florida

In the police the former Marine is said to have confessed to killing the family in Florida, but he had no clear motive. NPR.

Photo: Shutterstock

Police captured Marine Corps veteran Brian Riley near Lakeland, Florida at the home where he allegedly killed the couple, their three-month-old son, and the boy's grandmother. The man could not clearly explain his actions.

But in reality, no one knows, and may never know, why Riley attacked a family with which he had no ties. The only answer is he may have been mentally ill. Riley's girlfriend told investigators that he claimed to be able to communicate directly with God.

“The main question is why? - said local attorney Brian Haas after Sunday's murders. "We will not know the answer either today, or perhaps never."

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Riley, 33, is being held in incommunicado detention following the Sunday massacre on four counts of first-degree murder. During his first appearance in court on Monday, he said he intended to hire a lawyer, but a public defender was appointed to represent him until Riley will not hire his own.

Riley, who served as a sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan, surrenders Sunday morning following a violent shootout with authorities. When it was over, an officer broke into the house and rescued the 11-year-old girl, who was still conscious despite being shot seven times. Her condition was stable on Tuesday morning, the sheriff's office said.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Riley told investigators that the victims "were begging to be kept alive, but I killed them anyway."

“He's the devil in the flesh,” Judd said. "Just because you have mental health problems does not mean that you are not criminally liable."

Judd identified 40-year-old Judge Gleason as one of the victims. Citing state privacy law, Judd only identified the other victims as a 33-year-old woman, her young son, and the boy's 62-year-old grandmother. Facebook posts and public records show that Gleeson was in a relationship with Teresa Lanham, and they had a baby boy, Jody, in May. Lanham's mother, Catherine Delgado, owned the property and lived there. Gleason also had an 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

According to court records, on Saturday night, about nine hours before the attack, Riley stopped his truck and collided with Gleason while he was mowing the lawn. Riley, who lives 50 km away from the city of Tampa, told Gleason that God had sent him to prevent the suicide of someone named Amber.

Gleason and one of the other victims told Riley that no one with that name lives there and asked him to leave. They called 911, but when the police arrived and searched the area, the suspicious man was gone.

“We receive thousands of reports of suspicious people,” Judd said. “It is impossible to assume that we have time to stop and investigate each suspicious vehicle. He did not carry any threat. He was just a guy who just said stupid things. "

Riley is back around 4:30 am Sunday morning, spreading glow sticks to pave the way to the house in what Judd said might have been an attempt to lure the officers into an "ambush."

Shooting soon began, and when the sheriff heard clapping sounds, he sounded the alarm, leading state and local law enforcement officers to the scene. When they arrived, they found an unarmed Riley dressed in camouflage and his truck on fire.

The man ran back to the house, where the authorities heard more shots, “women screaming and crying children,” Judd said.

The officers tried to enter the house, but the front door was barricaded. Judd said that when they got to the back of the house, they saw Riley.

According to Judd, between Riley and the officers a shootout began. All was quiet, soon the killer left the house. He was injured and decided to surrender.

The officers heard cries for help, but were not sure that there was another attacker inside, and also feared that the house was mined. However, one officer burst in and grabbed the wounded girl, who reported that there were three dead people inside.

The sheriff's office said that all the dead were taken by surprise, the boy's body was found in the arms of a dead mother, there, in her arms, the kid was dying from wounds. Even the domestic dog was shot.

“I can never forget what I saw - a mother with a dead baby in her arms,” Judd said. "This is boundless horror."

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

Family friend Pansy Minsy Smith told The Ledger that she last saw Gleason at the hospital shortly after his son was born.

"He smiled broadly to your newborn little boy, he had a big teddy bear for him. It's so heartbreaking, ”Smith wrote on Facebook.

Authorities said Riley's girlfriend told investigators that he was never violent but became increasingly unpredictable. He claimed that his mission was to collect supplies for the victims of Hurricane Ida, including $ 1000 worth of cigars.

Authorities said Riley's car was equipped with bleeding control kits and other gunfight supplies.

According to the sheriff, he worked as a private security guard and had no criminal record.

Police sent Riley to prison later Sunday in a white jumpsuit. He looked depressed, head down and barely opening his eyes when reporters asked why he killed the family.

“This guy was a war hero. He fought for his country, ”Judd said. Now "he is a cold-blooded killer."

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