Bryan Riley

Brian Riley will remain jailed after being denied bail this morning when he went to court for the first time after being charged with four counts of first-degree murder and other felonies in the shooting deaths of four people, including in infant, in two North Lakeland homes and wounding an 11-year-old girl multiple times.

Riley, a 33-year-old Brandon resident who served overseas in the Marines and more recently worked in private security, will be appointed a public defender, although he indicated in court that he plans to hire a private attorney, according to the Associated Press.

Riley admitted to investigators he shot five people in north Lakeland early Sunday morning, four of whom died, according to an arrest affidavit. Asked why he shot an infant, he responded, “… because I’m a sick guy. I want to confess to all of it and be sent to jail,” according to the affidavit.

Those are among the developments since LkldNow finished updating its initial report on the mass murders around 7 p.m. Sunday.

In the probable cause arrest affidavit, investigators said Riley told them that he did not know the victims and that voices and God told him “to do it.”

Riley was booked into the Polk County Jail Sunday on multiple felony charges:

  • Four counts of first-degree murder
  • Seven counts of attempted first-degree murder of law enforcement officers
  • A separate count of attempted murder
  • One count of arson
  • Two counts of armed burglary with assault
  • Shooting into a building.

Riley also admitted he set a truck on fire at the home on North Socrum Loop Road where the shootings took place as part of an exit strategy, according to the affidavit. And he admitted trying to take a Lakeland Police officer’s gun in the Lakeland Regional Health emergency room, according to the affidavit.

Riley served as a U.S. Marine sharpshooter in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was honorably discharged, Sheriff Grady Judd said during a news conference on Sunday. He has worked part-time for an executive protection company and as a “protection specialist” for another company, according to his LinkedIn profile.

His Florida security officer license is set to expire in November, according to New York Times reporting based on a database from the published by the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Riley also had a firearm license and he applied for a second one, which was still under review, The Times reported.

The 11-year-old shooting victim, whom Sheriff Grady Judd said is a student at Lake Gibson Middle School, was in critical but stable condition at Tampa General Hospital on Monday, according to the Polk Sheriff’s Office.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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