LAKELAND, Fla. -- Four people are dead including a mother who was still cradling her now-deceased baby in what Florida sheriff’s deputies are calling a massive gunbattle with a suspect they said was “ready for battle.”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the unidentified suspect was dressed in full body armor — including a bulletproof vest — when he was found outside a Lakeland home.
"He killed four people this morning and tried to kill deputies," Judd said.
After exchanging gunfire with police and sheriffs, the suspect was shot once and left the home to surrender.
Judd said during a news conference that authorities found an 11-year-old girl alive, but with with multiple gunshot wounds inside the home.
The girl told deputies there were more people dead inside the home. Deputies later found a 40-year-old man, a 33-year-old woman, a 3-month-old infant and the family dog dead in one home, Sheriff Judd said. Sheriff Judd also said deputies found the woman holding the baby in her arms.
In another home, a 62-year-old woman was found dead.
"It's easy to shoot innocent children and babies and people when you have a gun and they don't. He was not much of a man," Sheriff Judd said.