After nearly 24 hours, a standoff in Orlando ended with the outcome police were dreading. Police say all four children who'd been held hostage in a west Orlando apartment complex were found dead after SWAT officers entered the unit, the Orlando Sentinel reports. "A short time ago we made entry into the apartment and found that all four children have been killed by the suspect by apparent gunshot wounds," Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters. "Our hearts go out to the families involved." Mina said it wasn't clear when the children—ages 1, 6, 10, and 11—had been killed. Gunman Gary Lindsey Jr., a 35-year-old convicted felon, was found dead in a closet from what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The standoff began Sunday night when Lindsey's girlfriend fled the apartment and told police she'd been assaulted, the New York Daily News reports. Lindsey fired on police when they arrived at the apartment, critically wounding Officer Kevin Valencia. Two of the slain children are believed to be Lindsey's and the other two are the girlfriend's. Mina said that after being in "direct and indirect" contact with Lindsey throughout the day, police decided to storm the apartment after offering the suspect a phone with more reliable service and spotting the body of one of the children. WKMG reports that records show Lindsey had an extensive arrest history, including a 2008 arrest for arson and domestic violence battery. He was sentenced to 30 years of supervision in 2009 and was arrested at least four times for violating probation.