ORLANDO, Fla. — The man who shot an Orlando police officer and took four children hostage before killing the children and turning the gun on himself had a long history of run-ins with law enforcement officers, according to records.
Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr. was arrested in Volusia County in 2004 on charges of aggravated assault, but the charges were dropped, records show.
Records show he was arrested in Sanford in 2007 on charges of larceny and petty theft, convicted and sentenced to community service.
In 2008, Lindsey pleaded no contest to charges of arson and fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer after investigators said he set an Orange City home on fire following an argument with his girlfriend, records said.
Records show he was sentenced to 35 years of probation and, while under supervision, he was 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.
There were no charges filed after Lindsey got into a fight with his girlfriend in 2015.
He was a convicted felon, so he should not have had a gun.
"When you look at this case in hindsight, there are indicators that scream out," WFTV legal analyst Belvin Perry Jr. said.
Perry reviewed Lindsey's criminal history and said there was an obvious pattern of violence.
Lindsey's father gave him the two rifles, the two shotguns and the handgun, Mina said.
Possession of a firearm or ammunition or an electronic device or weapon by a convicted felon is a crime under both federal law and state criminal laws.
"That's one of the problems when guns are so readily available," Perry said.
State probation officers have wide discretion to check for violations, such as having guns, but the officers are understaffed and overworked.
"The system is designed to not be as efficient as it should be," Perry said. "Unfortunately, I don't know any way to keep felons from getting guns."
The felonies to which Lindsey pleaded no contest are arson and fleeing law enforcement.
Channel 9 is trying determine why the judge in that case sentenced Lindsey to probation instead of prison or why the probation officer didn't take his guns away.
Cox Media Group