ORLANDO — A family attorney has identified the four children killed during a day-long Orlando standoff that started with the shooting of an officer. The standoff began late Sunday when a woman left an apartment and told police she had been battered by her boyfriend, 35-year-old Gary Lindsey.
Lindsey killed the four children he had been holding hostage before killing himself, police said late Monday. Two of the children killed Monday are believed to be his, and the other two are believed to be his girlfriend’s.
Benenati set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the children‘s funeral expenses. He said Iraya loved to play video games and was an overachiever at school. Lillia, who attended Sadler Elementary School, enjoyed going to Disney World and Volcano Bay, he said.
Aidan, who also attended Sadler Elementary, loved dinosaurs and playing outside. Dove, who was 22 months old, enjoyed running and playing outside, he told the station.
On the online fundraising page, Benenati called their deaths “a tragic ending to a night of horror.” He said Lindsey “selfishly took the lives of these precious innocent angels and then took his own life. These beautiful babies never hurt anyone.”
“We used to see the guy here, walking and smoking,” said Lopez, who lived a floor above Lindsey, his girlfriend and their four children. “Whenever we’d say, ‘Hi. How are you?’ He was like … ” Lopez shook his head.
“We heard gunshots, and I saw through the window that the policeman was down,” Lopez said. “The top stair was full of blood. They took the police officer down. … It was horrible.”
The wounded officer, Kevin Valencia, was in critical condition but is expected to survive, Orlando police Chief John Mina said Monday. One officer was able to return fire. Valencia is in his late 20s and has been with the police department since 2016.
Mina said officers tried to offer one of their phones to Lindsey, whose phone had spotty service, and saw that one of the children had been killed. Authorities went in hoping to rescue the others but found them all dead from gunshots.
“Our hearts go out to all the families involved,” Mina said.
“He looked like a nice guy,” Almeida said. “He didn’t look like anyone who would cause trouble. But you never know. You can’t judge a book by its cover.”