An 11-year-old girl played dead as a former Marine killed four of her family members in a shocking massacre.
The girl reportedly told her relatives she “played dead and prayed” after she was shot by ex-Marine Bryan Riley, who broke into her family home and shot his victims.
Her father, Justice Gleason, 40, his girlfriend, Theresa Lanham, 33, their baby son Jody and Ms Lanham’s mother, Catherine Delgado, 62, were all killed in the attack in Florida on Sunday.
Riley also killed the family’s dog.
The girl is now in stable condition in hospital after being shot a reported 11 times. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds for her and the funerals of those killed in the attack.
An post on the page says: “She is still in great spirits. She has been awake more today than the last few.
“At this time she is still in an enormous amount of pain. There is a confirmed amount of 11 gun shot wounds most are below the waist and a broken leg. She also has some damage to her pinky finger and her big toe. Even through this tragedy, Some how this little girl still manages to smile.
“She does find herself questioning what happened at times. She also finds herself breaking down at the reality that her father is gone. She doesn’t understand how any of this can happen or even why it happened and I’m not sure any of us will ever know the answers.
“She would like the world to know she says, ‘I want everyone to know that it was very scary… and how much I am going to miss the BEST daddy in the world.'”
Sheriff Grady Judd said: “She did tell some of her relatives who told us how she did survive. She said, ‘I played dead and I prayed’.”
In an affidavit seen by The Washington Post, Riley is said to have told police he’s “a sick guy” and confessed to the crimes.
Police say Riley had no connection to the family and first made contact with Mr Gleason on Saturday evening by pulling up outside his home and telling him God had told him to stop because Mr Gleason’s daughter Amber was going to kill herself.
When another victim told Riley he was wrong and that no Amber lived there, they also said they would call the police if he did not leave. 911 were called at around 7.30pm and officers attended the property and spent 20 minutes looking for Riley, but could not find him.
Riley had returned home to his girlfriend, and the Sun reports that he told her he could speak to God and when she woke up he was gone.
Riley returned to Mr Gleason’s home at around 4.30am on Sunday, allegedly laying out glowsticks to create a path leading to the house to draw officers “into an ambush,” Judd said.
A lieutenant responding to a separate call around two minutes away heard a volley of what he thought was automatic gunfire and immediately called for backup.
When officers arrived at the property, they found a white truck on fire in the driveway and Riley dressed in camouflage.
They saw him run inside before hearing another round of gunfire, a woman screaming and a baby whimpering. The door to the property was barricaded and when they made their way to the back of the house, they came across Riley who had appeared to put on full body armour.
Riley is then accused of shooting at the lieutenant who arrived first. The officer then returned fire and was able to run away and Riley started to shoot at others.