Four Children Dead after Hostage Crisis Are Identified: 'The Mother Is in Just Complete Shock'
Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr. and the four children were found dead inside the Florida apartment
The four young victims of a hostage crisis that ended late Monday night in Orlando, Florida, have been identified as siblings.
Family attorney Walter Benenati identified the children as Irayan Lopez, 12; Lillia Lopez, 10; Aidan Lindsey, 6; and 22-month-old Dove Lindsey as the children killed by Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr. Lindsey is the father of the two youngest children.
“The mother is in just complete shock,” Benenati tells PEOPLE of Lindsey’s girlfriend who fled the apartment shortly before he took the children hostage at gunpoint. “Right now she is angry and that will turn to grief that nobody can even fathom.”
Benenati described Irayan as “an overachiever” who loved video games. “Irayan was a very bright young kid,” he says about the middle schooler.
Lillia, an elementary school student, loved to play with friends and loved Disney World, he says. Aidan, Benenati says, loved to play dinosaurs.
Dove “was just a young beautiful boy who loved to play,” he adds.
Benenati, who set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the children’s funeral.
“These beautiful babies never hurt anyone. It is a tragic ending to a night of horror,” Benenati wrote on the page.
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The tragedy culminated when police discovered the bodies of the four children and Lindsey, 35, inside the Westbrook Apartments on Eaglesmere Drive late Monday after a 24-hour standoff. All died of apparent gunshot wounds.
Police had attempted to negotiate the safe release of the children after officers arrived at the apartment at 11.45 p.m. Sunday night following a domestic violence call but to no avail.
A spokesperson from the Orlando Police Department told PEOPLE that the incident began when a woman called police and reported that Lindsey had physically abused her.
Benenati alleges that the woman, the children’s mother, had been kicked in the head by Lindsey and ran out of the house. Benanati says the children were locked in their rooms at the time.
He told the Orlando Sentinel, “Some may question why she ran out of that building, but nobody can know what she was going through, what horror she was feeling.”
“In fairness to her, nobody can imagine taking the life of precious young children, which is what happened here,” he continued.
“[The children’s mother] never thought in a million years he would hurt the kids,” says Benenati. “It is tragic. It is an unspeakable act. Nobody could imagine it was going to end up this way.”
When officers arrived at the scene, Lindsey opened fire on them, shooting Officer Kevin Valencia, who is currently in critical condition, Orlando police chief John Mina said.
The shooting preceded a 24-hour standoff in which Lindsey barricaded himself in the apartment with the four children and police tried to negotiate with him. According to Orlando police, SWAT teams and negotiators attempted to resolve the situation without further violence. More than 40 officers were on the scene, and the nearby apartments were evacuated.
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Lindsey was allegedly on a suspended sentence at the time of the shooting. “He was afraid to go back to prison,” says Benenati.
Authorities expressed their sadness about the violent end to the standoff.
“As you know the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriffs Department have 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 told reporters.