An Orlando man who barricaded himself in an apartment complex in the central Florida city for 21 hours killed four children he took hostage before killing himself, police said late Monday.
The tragedy began when officers arrived at an apartment complex near the Universal Orlando theme park late Sunday after a woman said she been battered by the suspect, whom she described as her boyfriend, police said.
Police and suspect Gary Lindsey Jr. — who was holding four children ages 1,6, 10, and 11 in the apartment — exchanged gunfire and one officer was seriously injured. The woman had left the apartment after she was allegedly assaulted.
When the SWAT officers finally entered the apartment Monday, they found the bodies of the four children and Lindsey. Police chief John Mina said officers believe Lindsey shot each of the children before turning the gun on himself.
Mina said that the officer, Kevin Valencia, was listed in critical condition with "very significant injuries" but is expected to survive.
Over the course of the standoff, Mina said police negotiators made contact with Lindsey several times and urged the man to give himself up. They last spoke with Lindsey between 8:30 and 9 p.m., and officers rushed into the apartment soon after, Mina said.
Lindsey is the father of two of the children, while the other two are children of the woman he assaulted before the standoff began, according to police.
Lindsey was on felony probation after pleading no contest to charges of arson of a dwelling, willful fleeing or eluding law enforcement and domestic battery.
In a 2008 incident in Volusia County. a woman with whom Lindsey was in a relationship told police that, during an argument, Lindsey had grabbed a kitchen knife and begun stabbing the living room television, Orlando Sentinel reported.
He also punched the TV screen with his fist, and destroyed another television in the home, according to the Sentinel.
When the woman tried to call police for help, Lindsey broke her phone and threatened to burn the house down.
As the woman left, she spotted Lindsey retrieving two gasoline cans, the Sentineladded. Firefighters arrived at the scene to find house ablaze in that incident.
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