Orlando police officer shot during 2018 hostage situation dies

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando police officer shot during a hostage situation in 2018 has died.

“It is with deep regret and heart ache that I inform you of the passing of Officer Kevin Valencia. I ask everyone to keep Meghan, their kids, and the entire Valencia family in your prayers,” Police Chief Orlando Rolon tweeted Monday afternoon.

READ: ‘A true hero’: Law enforcement agencies, officials remember Orlando officer Kevin Valencia

Valencia suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was shot in the head while responding to a domestic violence call in June 2018.

Valencia was in a coma and had been in an Atlanta facility and more recently one closer to home in Central Florida trying to recover from the gunshot wound.

READ: Officer shot during hostage situation receives full disability pension from Orlando Police Department

In October 2020, Valencia retired from the Orlando Police Department, and was awarded the Purple Heart for his actions.

“Officer Valencia risked his life for people he didn’t even know -- a risk that many in the law enforcement profession take without question,” Rolon wrote in a news release. “Since that tragic night, Officer Valencia has been fighting for his life with his family by his side.

READ: Orlando officer Kevin Valencia moved back to Central Florida

Valencia was a father of two boys. His wife, Meghan, had held on to hope that someday he might recover.

“As the Valencia family prepares to lay Officer Valencia to rest, we ask for continued prayers, support, and respect for their privacy during this difficult time,” Rolon wrote.

In a news conference Tuesday, Rolon said Valencia’s funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on March 24 at First Baptist Orlando.

“He was and is a hero to us, and we will treat him as such,” Rolon said.

Officers placed a wreath in front of the Orlando Police Department headquarters in honor of Valencia.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.