Three men were killed in a horrifying lakeside massacre in Florida on Friday.
According to local NBC affiliate WFLA, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters that the scene of the murders “ranks among the worst I’ve been to.”
Fishing trip gone bad
According to Judd, what was supposed to be a fun night of catfishing for Damion Tillman and a few of his buddies turned deadly before it even really got started.
WFLA reported that Tillman, 23, was the first to arrive at a local fishing spot known as Lake Streety. “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.”
But Tillman apparently never got to cast his line. The sheriff told reporters that the 23-year-old was murdered right as he arrived.
Soon after, his friends, 27-year-old Brandon Rollins and 30-year-old Keven Springfield, pulled up in another vehicle. According to WFLA, the sheriff said the boys were “shot up.”
While both were killed on the scene, Brandon Rollins managed to get to his phone and call for help before he passed, WFLA said. Part of what Rollins told his father as he lay dying will now be used by police to apprehend the suspect — or suspects — involved, according to the sheriff.
“A little country community”
It remains unclear why the boys were murdered and whether it was premeditated. A $5,000 reward has been put up for information leading to an arrest, WFLA notes.
In the meantime, WFLA reported that the families are grieving the loss of their loved ones.
“I was just so upset last night, I just didn’t know what to do,” Rollins’ father Cyril said, according to WFLA. “It was a mess.”
Judd, for his part, indicated to reporters that the community as a whole is hurting over the news.
“One or more murderers that killed three people in a little country community,” he said, according to WFLA. “A very safe, very quiet community. Murdered them while they were on their way to go catfishing last night.”