ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orlando police officers who responded to a domestic dispute Monday were met with gunfire, which seriously wounded an officer and launched a standoff with the gunman, who then barricaded himself in an apartment with four young children.
Shortly before midnight, Orlando police and Orange County deputies announced that the suspect and the children had died.
The suspect accused of shooting an Orlando police officer in the face and holding four children hostage for nearly 24 hours killed the children and then killed himself, police said.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said they lost communication with Gary Lindsey about 8:30 p.m., but were still trying to end the situation peacefully.
They said Lindsey’s phone had a poor connection, so negotiators tried to get him another phone.
Once they did, SWAT team members were able to see that one of the children was dead.
Mina said the children were shot.
"Our hearts go out to the family of those four children. A long day like this is physically and emotionally draining," Mina said.
The officer who was shot, Kevin Valencia, remains in critical condition but is expected to survive, Mina said.
The identities of the children have not been released.
Watch Eyewitness News at 5 a.m. for more updates.
If you or anyone you know is the victim of domestic violence, click here for resources to get help.
Four children are dead following a hostage situation and a standoff with a suspect accused of shooting an Orlando police officer in the face.
The suspect, Gary Lindsey, is also dead, police and sheriff's office sources told Channel 9.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings are expected to release more information shortly.
Mina said Monday afternoon that police negotiators had been in communication with Lindsey since the standoff at the Westbrook Apartments, which began about midnight.
The children Lindsey was holding hostage ranged in age from 1 to 11. Two of them were Lindsey's children and the others belonged to his girlfriend.
Officers were called to the apartment by his girlfriend because of a domestic dispute. Upon arriving, the officers were fired upon, and Officer Kevin Valencia was shot.
The police chief said Valencia is expected to survive but he has "very significant injuries."
Court record shows Lindsey has an extensive criminal history.
Firefighters are police have begun leaving the scene.
Orlando police and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings plan to release more information at 11:45 p.m.
Skywitness 9 was over the scene of the standoff late Monday. The windows of the apartment where the suspect, Gary Lindsey, was holed up with four children appeared to be broken and there were no lights coming from the apartment.
The Orange County SWAT team, firefighters and police remain at the scene where a standoff is underway with a suspect accused of shooting an officer.
Crisis negotiators have been trying for nearly 24 hours to get Gary Lindsey to surrender.
Residents os the Westbrook Apartments were evacuated after Orlando police worked to save one of their own.
Sources told Channel 9 Officer Kevin Valencia was shot in the face.
"I saw the officers dragging another officer downstairs. He's laying on the floor, they're trying to talk to him to keep him awake. They put him in the car, throw him in the back and you just see cars pouring and pouring in," said resident Nicole Gonzalez.
Residents said they were unsure exactly where they would be going next after spending most of the day and the night at a nearby Holiday Inn.
"I mean, it's a dangerous situation. It's a bunch of kids and it's really worrying for them. Something I didn't really imagine could happen here," said resident Bryan Amaral.
Police said it was a call from Gary Lindsey's girlfriend that brought officers to the Westbrook Apartments at 11:45 p.m. Sunday.
Sources told Channel 9 that Lindsey opened fire through the front door, striking Officer Kevin Valencia.
The police chief says Valencia is expected to survive but he has "very significant injuries."
“They had the suspect identified. They came here in an effort to take him into custody for domestic battery,” said Orlando police Chief John Mina.
Crisis negotiators have tried to get Lindsey to come out of the home for about 17 hours.
Neighbors said Lindsey’s girlfriend fled the home to get help after she said she was being battered by Lindsey.
The children, whose ages police have corrected to 1, 6, 10 and 11 years old, were left inside.
Some of them are Lindsey's children and some belong to his girlfriend.
“We are urging him to release the children and let’s let this come to a peaceful situation,” said Mina.
Lindsey has a record in at least two counties, one of which involved arson.
Firefighters are on standby in incase he repeats his behavior.
Paramedics have put their bullet proof vests on in case they are called in.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Orlando police Chief John Mina identified the officer who was shot as Officer Kevin Valencia.
Valencia remains in critical condition after undergoing surgery, police said.
Mina said Lindsey has been holed up in the home for more than 12 hours. Two of the four children in the home are Lindsey's, police said.
Mina said Lindsey is a convicted felon who has been arrested on domestic battery and arson charges.
WATCH: Chief John Mina gives update on officer, standoff
The man who Orlando police say shot an officer and took four children hostage is Gary Wayne Lindsey, Jr., according to law enforcement sources and several neighbors.
Sources tell Channel 9 that Orlando firefighters are also at the scene of the standoff because Lindsey has a history of arson, which Eyewitness News confirmed through court records.
Lindsey was arrested last month for violating probation in Volusia County, court records show.
Orlando police say the situation started shortly before midnight when officers responded to a domestic dispute at the Westbrook Apartment complex on Eaglesmere Drive, just north of Universal Studios.
The suspect fired when officers approached, Orlando police say, then barricaded himself in an apartment with four children ranging in age from one to 12 years old.
Meanwhile, Channel 9's Jeff Deal reports the Orlando police officer, who has not been identified, was shot in the eye. He underwent surgery early Monday morning.
A man is holed up in an Orlando apartment complex with four children - the youngest of whom is one year old - after the man allegedly beat a woman and shot an Orlando police officer, police said.
The ongoing standoff is at the Westbrook Apartment complex on Eaglesmere Drive, just north of Universal Studios.
The police officer suffered a gunshot wound and is recovering at Orlando Regional Medical Center. He is expected to survive, said Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
Mina did not release the name of the officer, or the nature of his injuries.
The suspect they said has been barricaded in an apartment since around midnight Monday morning. Mina said the hostages are children aged one, seven, 10 and 12.
Orlando Police say an officer was shot while responding to a domestic violence call and the suspect has taken four children hostage.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said officers responded to the report of a woman who said she was being battered by a man around 11:45 p.m. Sunday at the Westbrook Apartment complex on Eaglesmere Drive, just north of Universal Studios. The suspect opened fire when officers confronted him, Mina said.
The suspect is barricaded in that apartment complex with four children under the age of 12. The youngest hostage is one year old, Mina said. SWAT teams and dozens of officers have surrounded the area.
Mina said the officer suffered a serious injury who has undergone surgery and is expected to survive.
Mina did not release the name of the wounded officer, or the name of the suspect who is still barricaded in that apartment complex.
A woman who lives in the apartment building tells Channel 9's Steve Barrett she heard gunfire, then saw an officer that appeared to be injured being rushed away in an SUV.
Watch below: Chief John Mina gives 6:45 a.m. update:
"We saw the officers dragging another officer - he was lying on the floor, they were trying to keep him awake - they threw him in the car and drove off," said resident Nicole Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said police then went door to door escorting people out of their homes as the standoff began.
Channel 9's Sarahbeth Ackerman reports a heavy police presence at Orlando Regional Medical Center, where the officer was taken.
Police are also investigating in the vicinity of a nearby Waffle House on Kirkland Road.
Channel 9's Ty Russell is waiting to learn more from Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
Watch Eyewitness News This Morning on Channel 9 from 5 to 7 a.m. and on TV 27 from 7 to 9 a.m. as we learn more about this developing story.
Location of the apartment standoff:
Cox Media Group