WINTER HAVEN, Fla (WFLA) – A “spree killer” who claims to have murdered up to eight people was arrested in Winter Haven after killing two people there, and another in Greenville, Tennessee, authorities said. There is no evidence that he killed five more.
All three victims’ names have been withheld.
Speaking to reporters while being transported to jail in Polk County on Tuesday, Stanley Mossburg said he’s “a prophet, not a serial killer” and that he allegedly killed the victims because “God needed them” for a war.
“Y’all will see God and there’s going to be a angels and demons fight from God,” Mossburg said before getting inside a patrol car.
Mossburg went on to say “there’s a war” and “everybody will see.”
When asked which side of the war he was on, Mossburg replied, “I’m the good side — God.”
He was then asked if he did it for God.
“Yes,” Mossburg replied.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, the 35-year-old who is from Spartanburg, South Carolina, began his killing spree at a laundromat in Greenville, Tennessee on Oct. 2.
A surveillance video reportedly shows him holding a man at gunpoint and leading him into a bathroom. Deputies said the man was bound when he left the restroom.
The victim’s wife called 911 after she texted her husband and got a text back from his phone saying that he was having an affair, something she did not believe.
Officers responded to the laundromat, but did not find the victim and his car was gone. Some customers found his body the next day in a pool of blood behind the laundromat, Judd said.
Although it’s unclear exactly what happened in the days after the murder, Judd said Mossburg convinced his sister to buy him a Greyhound bus ticket from Atlanta to Orlando.
While in Florida, he stole a black Ford F250 in Seffner and pawned property in Auburndale.
Days later, he was captured on Ring video prowling around a yard on 16th Street in Winter Haven. He was confronted by the owner and ran off the property.
Judd said Mossburg returned to the neighborhood that evening and entered a home nearby.
One of the residents arrived home to find his roommate bound to a chair. She told him “just do what he says and he won’t hurt you,” Judd said.
Mossburg allegedly threatened to kill the resident with his knives and guns and told him “don’t look in the master bedroom, you won’t like what you see in there,” Judd said.
Judd said Mossburg led the resident into an office, ripped the cords out of a computer and tied him to a chair. The victim gave him a combination to a safe, but there was not much inside, Judd said.
Mossburg told the victim that his roommate tried to fight back, so he made him suffer before he killed him. He said he killed his other roommate quickly because she cooperated. It’s unclear if the resident witnessed either killing.
“He has slashed and murdered both of these victims. He slashed and murdered the victim in Tennessee with knives,” Judd said.
Judd said Mossburg poured bleach on their bodies and got a mop bucket and began cleaning the residence.
Mossburg stayed at the home throughout the night and refused to turn on the air conditioning because he didn’t want the home to smell, Judd said.
The next morning, he put some stolen items into the victim’s car and threatened to kill the resident if he called 911. Then he left.
Judd said the victim remained on the couch for several hours, then ran to his neighbor’s house and called 911. It’s unclear if he had any injuries.
About 50 deputies responded to the home and set up a perimeter.
Judd said the female victim’s vehicle was located a couple of blocks from the murder scene. It was spray-painted white.
Deputies began searching the home and noticed a door was locked.
When they busted through the door, Mossburg opened fire.
A SWAT team was called to the scene and began negotiating with Mossburg and he exchanged fire with deputies again.
“We don’t have the exact total number of rounds that was [sic] shot at our deputies, but it’s going to be someplace around seven or eight,” Judd said.
Mossburg was eventually found hiding under a pool table and was detained by a K-9.
He was taken to Winter Haven Hospital to be treated for dog bites and is now being processed at a special operation center.
Judd said Mossburg claimed the roommates in Winter Haven were his seventh and eighth victims, but there is no evidence that suggests he killed more people.
Mossburg faces multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder charges, Judd said.
- Group of dads tackle man accused of peeping on teen in Cracker Barrel restroom
- Caught on video: Man breaks into Town ‘n’ Country church, sets it on fire
- Learning pods can make educational inequities worse. Here’s a better way to create one
- Catching up with hockey-loving pigs, Thunder and Bolt
- ‘Unfathomable’: US death toll from coronavirus hits 200,000