Police at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the victims were a man, two women, and an infant in one of the women’s arms. Another child, an 11-year-old girl, was also shot multiple times, but is alive and being treated at a hospital.
“He came here for a gun battle,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “We don’t know why.
The police received a call concerning a person and vehicle in the “unincorporated area” of north Lakeland which is a residential area.
At about 7.30pm (0.30am BST) a woman informed the police that an unknown man was in the area.
However, when the police arrived there was no one on the scene.
“At this point in the investigation, we find zero connection between our shooter, our murderer, and the victims.”
According to the police, the suspect was handcuffed and taken to a hospital where he was treated for one gunshot wound.
However, at the emergency room the suspect “jumped up and tried to grab the Lakeland Police officer’s gun,” according to Sheriff Judd.
The suspect was then wrestled to the floor and given a sedative, according to the police.
Sheriff Judd said that the motive is unknown and the investigation is in the earliest stages.
Additional reporting by Rachel Russell.