Orlando police had responded on Monday to a domestic violence reported by a woman claiming that her boyfriend had battered her. After "an exchange of gunfire" with police the suspect, identified as Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., shots officer Kevin Valencia just before he barricades himself in an apartment holding hostage four children from 1 to 11 years-old.
Officer Valencia, who is in his late twenties, underwent surgery at Orlando Regional Medical Center and currently is in hospital in critical condition, but he is expected to survive.
“The suspect — who was identified as 35-year-old Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr. — was found dead in a closet when officers entered the apartment nearly 24 hours after the standoff began.” Orlando police Chief John Mina said at a news conference just before midnight
“Officers tried to offer a telephone to Lindsey, whose own phone had poor service, and saw that one of the children had been killed. Authorities then entered the apartment hoping to rescue the others at around 9 p.m., but all were found dead.” Mina said and added, “The children's ages ranged from 1 to 11.”
Court record shows Lindsey, 35, had an extensive criminal history involving arson, battery and theft. He was on probation for several charges including arson.
Judy Pepper, who lives in the apartment complex, told The Orlando Sentinel that she was sleeping when she heard four loud gunshots.
"It just went, 'Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop,'" Pepper said.
She looked out the window and saw three people carrying a police officer onto the grass. She said other officers arrived, cut open his shirt and appeared to be putting bandages on his neck. Then, they put him in a patrol car and sped away.
"Hell, yes, I was absolutely terrified," she said.