The 11-year-old sole survivor of an ex-Marine’s massacre of a Florida family told cops she made it out alive by playing dead.
The girl, who police said was shot seven times by ex-Marine Bryan Riley in her family’s Lakeland home Sunday, told cops “I played dead and I prayed” after the gunman thought he had “eliminated” her.
“He thought he left her for dead, but she was smarter than he was,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference Thursday. “God truly was with that little girl.”
Riley is charged with killing the girl’s grandmother, parents and 3-month-old brother in what police said was a random attack on strangers — with no motive yet clear.
Judd, who could barely contain his anger during the press conference, described how Riley methodically burst into the home, claiming he was looking for a fictitious girl named “Amber.”