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Monday
Jun112018

Standoff extends past 14 hours as dad who allegedly shot cop takes 4 kids hostage

WOFL via ABCNews.com(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- An armed suspect remained barricaded inside an Orlando, Florida, apartment Monday afternoon, holding four children hostage, in a standoff that began Sunday night when he allegedly shot and critically wounded a police officer.

The wounded officer, Kevin Valencia, was responding to a domestic violence complaint and suffered a "very serious and significant injury," undergoing surgery this morning at Orlando Regional Medical Center, Police Chief John Mina said. The officer, who's been on the force since 2016, was last listed in critical condition, but is expected to survive.

Valencia was shot in the eye when the alleged gunman fired through the door from inside the apartment when officers approached the unit, ABC Orlando affiliate WFTV reported, citing police and fire department sources.

"We've been through this before. It's very hard," Mina said. "It's very traumatic to have one of your officers shot in the line of duty. We're just praying that he's going to be OK."

Mina identified the barricaded suspect as John Lindsey Jr., 35. He previously had been arrested on domestic violence and arson charges, and is currently on felony probation.

"We believe that they're still alive at this time," Mina said during a 3 p.m. news conference Monday, more than 14 hours after the standoff began.

Mina said a police crisis intervention team has been trying to talk Lindsey into surrendering peacefully.

The shooting broke out about 11:45 p.m. Sunday at the Westbrook apartment complex.

"Our main concern right now is the safety of the children that are in that apartment," Mina said, adding that a SWAT team had the unit surrounded.

The child hostages are ages 1, 6, 10 and 11. Lindsey is the father of two of the children, and the other two belong to his girlfriend.

The incident began when Lindsey's girlfriend contacted police to report that he'd battered her, and she directed officers to an apartment in the Westbrook complex, Mina said.

The mother met with police outside the complex, authorities said.

As several officers approached the apartment, shots rang out and Valencia was hit, Mina said. At least one officer fired back at the gunman, but Mina said he wasn't sure whether the suspect was shot.

"He has not threatened the children," Mina said.

"Right now the suspect is barricaded in his apartment," Mina said. "He has spoken with us a couple of times, but has hung up the phone on us a couple of times, too."

The shooting of the officer comes about 17 months after Sgt. Debra Clayton, a 17-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department, allegedly was gunned down by a man suspected of killing his pregnant former girlfriend. Clayton was shot four times Jan. 9, 2017, during a confrontation with suspect Markeith Loyd, 42, outside a Walmart in Orlando.

Clayton's death prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala from prosecuting the case because she refused to seek the death penalty. Scott appointed a special prosecutor, who filed a motion seeking capital punishment against Loyd, who is scheduled to go on trial in September.

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