During the 21-hour hostage standoff at an Orlando apartment that left four young children shot dead, there was never any indication of an imminent threat to the kids, police said Tuesday.
A photograph of a smiling Iraya, 12, Lilia, 10, Aidan, 6, and Dove, 1 - all in a warm embrace - was shared online overnight as the children's mother and family struggled to comprehend the night of horror that was unleashed at an Orlando apartment building.
Orlando police Chief John Mina said officers never heard "sounds or voices of the children" during sporadic phone calls with Lindsey during the standoff that began Sunday and stretched into late Monday.
Officials in Florida say a medical examiner will determine at what point during a standoff the four children were killed. He says Irayan loved video games and was an overachiever at school. Two of the children were Lindsey's and two were his girlfriend's, police said.
Police said Lindsey's girlfriend made the initial call after she had left the apartment.
She said he attacked her while she was holding the child, according to court documents reviewed by USA TODAY.
"It's clear that he continues to heroically act in the interest of public safety, even now as part of the Orlando Police Department", Bermudez said in a statement.
Lindsey's mother lives in Deltona, but no one answered the door at her home Tuesday afternoon. Residents of the neighboring apartment complexes had to show identification and be escorted by the police. He was a felon now out on probation for arson and other charges, according to law enforcement.
Lindsey had felt like he'd added something to the house, but all he did was "leech off of me", Rondinelli said.
As a teen, Lindsey had been enrolled in ninth grade at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, but he withdrew to attend adult education, Nancy Wait, Volusia Schools spokeswoman, said.
"It's heartbreaking", she said. A medical examiner's van left the apartment complex midmorning.
At Tuesday's bell-ringing ceremony to honor the 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub massacre two years ago, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Monday's standoff was also hard for his deputies.
Taipa said she saw the wounded officer from their apartment window.
Their mother lived at the home where they were held hostage by Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., according to Benenati. He was sentenced to 30 years supervision.
According to police records, Lindsey had been on felony probation at the time of the hostage incident after having pleaded no contest to charges of arson of a dwelling, willful fleeing or eluding law enforcement, and domestic battery, all of which stem from a 2008 incident involving a woman that Lindsey was in a relationship with.
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 didn't look like anyone who would cause trouble".
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