A suspected serial killer who allegedly admitted to killing at least three people in Florida said he took their lives because God “needs them for the war,” according to a report.
Stanley Mossburg, 35, said as he was being transported from the Polk County Sheriff's Office to be booked for murder Tuesday that he was “a prophet, not a serial killer,” claiming he was carrying out God’s plan, video captured by WFTS-TV showed.
"I'm doing what God tells me to do,” Mossburg told reporters. “Y'all will see God, and there's gonna be an angels and demons fight from God.”
With his hands behind his back and a bloody bandage on his forehead, Mossburg at times shook his head and smiled, staring down journalists during the brief exchange.
“There's a war, everybody will see,” he said.
Mossburg, who is known as “Woo Woo,” was arrested weeks after allegedly killing at least three people in Tennessee and Florida in what police said appeared to be random attacks.
Christopher Scott Short was found on Oct. 2 in a pool of his own blood behind a laundromat in Greeneville, Tennessee, officials said.
Surveillance footage showed a man, allegedly Mossburg, force Short at gunpoint into the building’s bathroom. The man and Short emerged after Short had been bound and they walked to the back of the laundromat, where Short was then stabbed to death, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters.
Mossburg then allegedly stole Short’s truck and drove to his own sister’s home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Judd said. Police said they found the vehicle in a nearby scrapyard. Mossburg’s sister allegedly bought him a bus ticket to Orlando, and then he traveled about 50 miles southwest to Winter Haven in Polk County.
There, he allegedly sold items to a pawnshop and on Sunday invaded a home, police said.
Mossburg allegedly tied up a woman and a man who were in the house when he broke in and then ambushed a third resident, another a man, when he arrived home from work about 10:30 p.m., Judd said.
“Just do what he says and he won’t hurt you,” police said the third roommate, who survived, told them the woman said to him.
All three roommates were tied to chairs and restrained in different rooms of the home. The man who survived said Mossburg told him he had by then killed the other man who lived in the house, and that later that night he went on to kill the woman. The man and woman, who were identified by neighbor Bob Strouse as Peggy and Ken, were stabbed to death.
Mossburg made the deceased male victim suffer because he tried fighting back, Judd said.
After 14 hours of being captive, the living victim escaped from the house Monday evening and called 911 from Strouse’s home.
“He was frantic,” Strouse told WFTS-TV. “We didn’t believe what he was telling us right off because it sounded so farfetched you don’t want to believe it, but we did.”
Officials said Mossburg fled in a stolen car, which law enforcement said they found in an intersection in Winter Haven. As police searched a home they thought he could be hiding in, Mossburg allegedly fired two gunshots from his hiding spot about 9 p.m. Monday.
The officers retreated and called for backup, and a SWAT team arrived armed with a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle. Police speaking on a PA system urged Mossburg to come out and they fired a “chemical agent” in the hopes it would smoke him out, but he responded with more gunfire.
The standoff lasted until 5 a.m. Tuesday, when authorities drove the military-grade vehicle into the garage and a K-9 unit was sent in to pull Mossburg out as he reportedly hid under a pool table.
Mossburg was arrested as he tried fighting the dog, police said.
He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained in the standoff and was later booked into the Polk County Jail on Tuesday. He faces 14 felony charges, including multiple counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and armed burglary, and one misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest.
Police said the living victim told them Mossburg said he wanted to be a serial killer. Mossburg allegedly told the man that his roommates were his seventh and eighth victims, but there has so far been no evidence to support the claim he killed additional people, authorities said.
“He said he likes killing people,” Judd said. “We know he’s killed at least three people. He tried to kill our deputies. … This guy needs the death penalty if there’s ever anyone who needed the death penalty.”
Mossburg is expected to appear in court Wednesday. He has not entered a plea.
The living victim is reportedly 70 years old and a cancer survivor. His neighbors have created a GoFundMe account to help him with bills, to assist in returning his home back to order and to organize memorials for the deceased victims.
“You know, I don’t know how you are supposed to act when you go through something like that,” Strouse said. "He has no money. He has no car. He has no support, only is neighbors, who are supportive. Donate to the GoFundMe. Please help.”