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Attorney identifies children killed in Orlando hostage situation

13 June 2018

An attorney representing the family of four children killed during a hostage situation Monday has identified the kids and released a photo of them.

Orlando police Chief John Mina said at a press conference just before midnight that the suspect, who was identified as 35-year-old Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., was found dead in a closet when officers entered the apartment almost 24 hours after the standoff began.

A Florida man who shot a police officer in the face before killing four children - and then himself - had a lengthy criminal record on domestic violence and other charges.

A police spokeswoman said Tuesday that the medical examiner, as part of an investigation, would determine when the children were killed.

On the online fundraising page, Benenati called their deaths "a tragic ending to a night of horror".

The family attorney, Walter Benenati, said Irayan loved to play video games and was an overachiever at school.

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.

The incident began Sunday at around 11:45 p.m. after Orlando police responded to a domestic violence report at the Westbrook Apartments, with a woman reporting that Lindsey had battered her.

"These attractive babies never hurt anyone", wrote Benenati, who said money would go toward funeral expenses and helping Ciara get on her feet. The page can be found here. They were allowed to go home early Tuesday.

But Miguel Lopez, another neighbor in the apartment complex near Universal Orlando Resort, said his interactions with Lindsey were "weird".

"He was just ideal - a hard worker, a people's person", said former Doral police chief Donald De Lucca, "I don't know anyone who didn't like him".

An officer who had been injured in the initial confrontation with Lindsey, Kevin Valencia, remains in a critical condition, the police chief said.

Officer Valencia has been with the police department since 2016. Lindsey was the father of Aidan and Dove, he said. Rondinelli said she'd invited him in, and while they were talking, they got into an argument, and Lindsey "snapped".

But Lopez said his interactions with Lindsey were "weird". Lopez shook his head.

Swat officers entered the apartment on Monday night.

When Pepper looked out her window, she saw three people carrying Valencia away from where he had been shot.

Lindsey eventually pleaded no contest to domestic battery, first-degree arson of a dwelling and fleeing/attempting to elude and was sentenced to a suspended 10 years in prison, 28 years of probation and two years of community control, records show.

He once showed up at a bar in DeBary that Lindsey knew Rondinelli would visit, but because of the restraining order she'd obtained, she told him to leave or she'd call police, so Lindsey left, per the deposition.

George Almeida, who lives in a neighboring building, said the lease must have been in Lindsey's girlfriend's name since the apartment managers run a background check on potential tenants. But you never know.

Attorney identifies children killed in Orlando hostage situation