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Family attorney ID's 4 children killed in daylong Orlando hostage standoff

Gunman kills self, 4 children after Florida standoff
Gunman kills self, 4 children after Florida s... 00:53

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, a convicted felon, fired at responding officers, seriously wounding one of them. He then holed up for much of the day with the four children inside the apartment.

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.

Family attorney Walter Benenati identified the children to CBS affiliate WKMG Tuesday as Iraya Lopez, 12; Lillia Lopez, 10; Aidan Lindsey, 6, and Dove Lindsey, 1.

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."

Gary Lindsey came off as polite and friendly, neighbor Nicole Gonzalez said Tuesday morning as she returned to her Orlando home after being evacuated more than a day earlier during the standoff.

"His kids were beautiful, sweet children - well-mannered, as well," Gonzalez said.

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

"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.

Gary Lindsey
Gary Lindsey is seen in this May 18, 2018, mugshot after an arrest for a probation violation. Volusia County Corrections

Lopez described a harrowing scene during the standoff. 

"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.

Lindsey was found dead in a closet when officers entered the apartment about 9 p.m., more than 21 hours after the standoff started, Mina said at a news conference just before midnight Monday.

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.

On Tuesday, blue tarps covered the apartment building's back windows where SWAT officers apparently had made entry. A medical examiner's van left the apartment complex midmorning.

"Our hearts go out to all the families involved," Mina said.

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

Court records show Lindsey had an extensive criminal history involving arson, battery and theft. He was on probation for several charges, including arson.

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.

Almeida said he didn't know Lindsey personally but would see him wearing a gas mask and spray-painting items beside a tree outside his apartment building.

"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."

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