ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The four children taken hostage by a man accused of shooting an Orlando police officer have died after a standoff that lasted for about 20 hours, police said.
Orlando police Chief John Mina announced early Tuesday morning that suspect Gary Lindsey, 35, shot and killed the children – two of whom were his own – and then killed himself.
Later Tuesday, the attorney representing the family posted a GoFundMe page and released photos and the names of the young victims.
This is what’s left behind following a deadly end to a standoff in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/pU0TWrpauE— Ty Russell (@TRussellWFTV) June 12, 2018
"We had been working very hard during this long day to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution. Unfortunately it has a very tragic and sad ending,” Mina said. “Our hearts go out to the family of those four children."
Mina said negotiators lost communication with Lindsey around 8:30 p.m. Monday because of a poor connection. Lindsey was using a Wi-Fi phone that did not have cellular service. When SWAT team members moved in to bring him a phone, they could see that one of the children was dead. Lindsey's body was found in a closet.
Two of the children were found dead in one bedroom and the two others were found dead in a second bedroom.
SWAT breached several windows which is when an officer saw a deceased child, that's when explosive breach was done on the apartment, gas was deployed- started clearing the apartment room by room. #WFTV— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) June 12, 2018
At a press conference Tuesday evening, Mina said that during the negotiations, there was never any indication that Lindsey threatened the children.
Investigators still don't know the timeline of when Lindsey killed the children.
"There was no indication of an imminent threat. There were no sounds of voices of the children," said Mina.
We’re learning new details about the shooting of an #Orlando police officer - and the nearly 24 hour standoff that ended in the deaths of four young children. Live coverage on TV27at10 & #WFTVat11 @WFTV pic.twitter.com/Pj54iGMuza— Ken Tyndall (@KenTyndallWFTV) June 13, 2018
Mina said Lindsey had five guns in his possession--two rifles, two shotguns and a handgun. The guns were passed on to Lindsey by his dead father.
Mina said officers were working hard to gather as much information as they could about what was going on inside the apartment without provoking Lindsey.
Skywitness 9 was over the scene of the standoff late Monday. The windows of the apartment appeared to be broken and there were no lights coming from the apartment.
Watch below: Police update as standoff comes to tragic end
Such a horrible ending to this incident. Our hearts go out to the family of the children and the law enforcement officers who worked tirelessly to bring this standoff to a peaceful conclusion. https://t.co/XKXSUbFdBU— Mayor Buddy Dyer (@orlandomayor) June 12, 2018
The standoff started late Sunday night when police said Lindsey beat an ex-girlfriend, who called police to report a domestic dispute at the Westbrook Apartments complex on Eaglesmere Drive, just north of Universal Studios.
Mina said the children were not part of the original domestic violence call.
Lindsey opened fire when officers arrived, shooting Officer Kevin Valencia through the door, police said. Sources told Channel 9 Valencia was shot in the eye. Fellow officers rushed Valencia to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery early Monday morning. Mina said Valencia suffered “very significant injuries,” but is expected to survive.
“Everyone is sending prayers for Kevin and his family,” Mina said.
Police evacuated residents from the Westbrook complex shortly after the standoff started. Many of them spent Monday morning at a McDonald’s, before police relocated them to a nearby Holiday Inn. Police started to allow residents back into their homes Tuesday morning.
#Update: Just learned police are allowing some Westbrook residents who live south of the complex are being allowed back to their homes. They must have proper paperwork to enter.#WFTV pic.twitter.com/wS0FlAdLGg— Jeff Levkulich (@jlevkulichWFTV) June 12, 2018
Court records show Lindsey had an extensive criminal history. Paperwork shows three arrests since 2004. In 2009, Lindsey pleaded no contest to charges of arson and fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer after investigators said he sent an Orange County home after an argument with his girlfriend.
Records show he received 35 years of community supervision, and while under supervision, he has been picked up for a series of probation violations, culminating in 2012 with an aggravated battery and aggravated assault charge in Orange County, stemming from a fight with another girlfriend.
Lindsey was released when the state couldn't file charges after 30 days.
If you or anyone you know is the victim of domestic violence, click here for resources to get help.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.