Authorities in Florida said that three friends were killed on Friday night while fishing in what the sheriff described as a “massacre,” while saying that one of the victims called a family member before his death.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Saturday morning that Damion Tillman, 23; Keven Springfield, 30; and Brandon Rollins, 27, were shot and killed.
“Here’s what the murderers didn’t count on,” Judd said in the news conference. “One of our victims, Brandon Rollins, was able to call his father and say, ‘Help.’”
According to the sheriff, Rollins’s father was asleep when his son called him for help, and in a rush to get to his son, forgot his cellphone at home. He arrived at the “horrific” scene, then went to a convenience store to call 911.
When he returned back to the scene, the father found his son dead, Judd remarked.
“This is a horrific scene,” Judd said. “I have been to a lot of murder scenes in my life and this ranks up with the worst of them. They were viciously murdered.”
Judd said that the three victims were both beaten and shot, adding that it’s not clear if they were targeted.
“It’s about as far out in the middle of the woods as you can get,” Judd said. “It’s a peaceful area. There’s a beautiful lake where three very close friends were going fishing last night.”
No suspects have been named. The motive is also not clear.
Judd said that anyone with information about the triple-homicide should call the sheriff’s office at 863-298-6200, while Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 cash reward for information that leads to the arrests of the suspects responsible.
The incident occurred in Lake Streety, officials said.