By Megan Mellado
LAKELAND, Florida (WESH) — Neighbors who spoke to WESH 2 tell us it could’ve easily been them who were shot and killed. One neighbor in particular, Miguel Rivera, tells us he believes the suspect knocked on his door first.
“Before all this happened, he had knocked on my glass door in the back and that’s what woke me up at 3:45 in the morning,” Rivera said.
However, it was Miguel Rivera’s neighbors that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says 33-year-old Bryan Riley shot and killed on North Socrum Loop Road early Sunday.
“Like around 10 minutes after that, that’s when I heard all the gunshots and I proceeded to call 911,” Rivera said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office tells us Riley was in full body armor. They say he shot and killed one man, one woman, a 3-month-old baby who was in the woman’s arms, and the baby’s grandmother.
We’re told he also left an 11-year-old girl in critical condition with seven gunshot wounds and shot and killed the family dog. Sheriff’s officials haven’t found any connection between Riley and the victims.
He’s now facing several charges including four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder with a weapon, and seven counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, after he fired at deputies who were responding.
Liberty Ulrich, who lives across the street, is very familiar with the home of the scene.
“I actually lived in that house in ’99 and 2000,” Ulrich said. “Finding out later that he picked them at random and I’m the next driveway, you know, it could’ve been my driveway. How can somebody do that, it’s just evil,” he said.
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