Police discovered the bodies of four children and the man who held them hostage at gunpoint in an Orlando, Florida, apartment late Monday after a 24-hour standoff.
Police had tried to negotiate the safe release of the children — aged 1, 6, 10 and 11 — after officers arrived at the apartment at 11.45 p.m. Sunday night following domestic violence call.
Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., 35, was found dead at the scene.
All died of apparent gunshot wounds.
A spokesperson from the Orlando Police Department tells PEOPLE that the incident began when a woman called police and reported that Lindsey had physically abused her. 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 touched off a 24-hour standoff in which Lindsey barricaded himself in the apartment with the four child hostages and police tried to negotiate with him. Two of the children were his, while the other two were his girlfriend’s from a previous relationship.
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.
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.
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The suspect was found dead inside of a closet by police.
On Monday, Mina said Valencia is expected to survive but that he has “very significant injuries,” according to WESH.
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On its Facebook page, the Fraternal Order of Police Orlando Lodge #25 posted a message with Valencia’s picture with the caption, “Pray for Officer Kevin Valencia.”
Speaking about Valencia’s shooting, Mina said, “It’s hard, it’s very traumatic,” and added, “We’re just praying that he’s gonna be okay.”