The gunman killed a man, 2 women and an babe who were recovered successful 2 homes adjacent Lakeland, Fla., the authorities said. A girl, 11, besides was wounded.
Sept. 5, 2021, 3:11 p.m. ET
A gunman wearing assemblage armor and described by a sheriff arsenic “ready for battle” fatally changeable 4 people, including an infant, successful 2 homes adjacent Lakeland, Fla., aboriginal connected Sunday greeting and exchanged gunfire with sheriff’s deputies earlier helium was taken into custody, the authorities said.
The gunman, who besides changeable and wounded an 11-year-old girl, surrendered aft helium was changeable astatine slightest erstwhile during 2 gunfights with deputies that progressive dozens, if not hundreds of rounds, successful an unincorporated residential vicinity successful Polk County, Fla., the region sheriff, Grady Judd, said astatine a news conference.
Three of the radical who were killed — a man, pistillate and an babe the pistillate was cradling successful her arms — were recovered wrong 1 home, the authorities said. A 4th victim, a woman, was recovered changeable to decease successful different location connected the aforesaid property.
Investigators could not instantly accidental what prompted the rampage, which they said began astir 4:30 a.m. They did not merchandise the names of the victims oregon the gunman, who was taken into custody by officers from respective instrumentality enforcement agencies successful tactical cogwheel arsenic a chopper hovered supra the scene. No deputies were injured.
While the gunman was being treated astatine a infirmary exigency room, helium tried to drawback a constabulary officer’s weapon and had to beryllium medicated and restrained, Sheriff Judd said.
“He was acceptable for battle,” Sheriff Judd said of the gunman, who helium said had told deputies that helium was a “survivalist” and was taking methamphetamine.
The 11-year-old miss was flown to Tampa, Fla., which is astir 35 miles southwest of Lakeland, and was successful surgery, the sheriff said. She was “doing well,” helium said, and was speaking to detectives. Additional accusation connected her information was not instantly available.
“She looks our deputies successful the oculus and said, ‘There’s 3 much dormant radical successful the house,’” Sheriff Judd said.
He said the archetypal denotation that thing was amiss came astir 7:30 p.m. connected Saturday, erstwhile a pistillate called the authorities to accidental that a suspicious antheral was sitting successful a parked conveyance successful the neighborhood.
She told them of a frightening brushwood with the man, who she said had told her that “God sent maine present to talk with 1 of your daughters.”
By the clip a sheriff’s lawman arrived astir six minutes later, the antheral was gone, Sheriff Judd said.
About 9 hours later, a sheriff’s lieutenant who was connected different telephone 2 miles distant heard 2 volleys of automatic gunfire, the sheriff said. When instrumentality enforcement officers arrived astatine the property, which has 3 homes, they recovered a motortruck connected fire.
“We saw an idiosyncratic wholly outfitted successful assemblage armor and looked arsenic if helium was acceptable to prosecute america each successful an progressive shooter situation,” Sheriff Judd said.
The antheral retreated wrong the home, and the sheriff said that officers could perceive a pistillate shriek and a babe whimper aft much gunfire.
The sheriff’s lieutenant tried to participate the location done the beforehand doorway but it was barricaded, the sheriff said. When helium entered the location from the back, the gunman started shooting, and the lieutenant returned fire, Sheriff Judd said, adding that 3 different deputies were besides “pinned down” during the standoff.
Sheriff Judd said investigators recovered a stockpile of supplies successful the suspect’s truck, including a bleeding-control first-aid kit.
“Who successful the satellite would ever expect to person an progressive shooter successful a vicinity astatine 4:30 connected a Sunday morning?” helium said.
Before investigators could participate the home, helium said, robots were sent successful to cheque for explosives oregon different booby traps. He did not accidental whether investigators recovered any.
“This is simply a horrific incident,” Brian Haas, the authorities lawyer for Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit, said astatine the quality conference. “Our assemblage and galore families are hurting this morning.”
At the quality conference, Sheriff Judd said helium regretted that the gunman had travel retired with his hands up alternatively than brandishing a weapon.
“If he’d fixed america the opportunity,” helium said, deputies would person “shot him up a lot,” and the authorities would person “had a antithetic speech present this morning.”
“But helium didn’t, due to the fact that helium was a coward,” ” Sheriff Judd added. “You see, it’s casual to sprout guiltless children and babies and radical successful the mediate of the nighttime erstwhile you’ve got the weapon and they don’t. But helium was not overmuch of a man.”