The wife of a police officer fighting for his life has made a tearful plea to the community for prayers.
Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia is in critical condition after being shot while trying to save four children during a fatal standoff. During an emotional press conference on Wednesday, his wife made a tearful plea to the community for prayers.
“He’s fighting every second,” Meghan Valencia said of her husband, whom she has two children with, at the press conference recorded by the Orlando Sentinel.
Meghan spoke of the sorrow she has for the children who were killed by Gary Lindsey, a felon who reportedly ended the children’s lives, along with his own, after a 21-hour standoff Monday.
“I’m so sorry to the families, because I’m a mom and I cannot even imagine what they are going through,” she said. “It is more than what anybody can bear.”
The grief-stricken wife thanked officers and the staff who are assisting her and working with her husband, who is in a coma but has shown signs of responsiveness. She spoke about needing him to pull through.
“He needs all the support so that he can pull through, so that we can wake up, so that he can live, because my boys need a daddy…I need my husband, and this community needs a real hero,” she said.
At about 11:45 p.m. Sunday, police were called to the Westbrook Apartments complex near Universal Studios, after a woman reported that she was being battered by her boyfriend, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
As officers attempted to arrest the suspect, gunfire was exchanged and Valencia took a bullet to the eye, police sources told WFTV.
Lindsey subsequently barricaded himself, along with the four children, two of whom belonged to him and two who were his girlfriend’s, inside of the apartment. An immensely tense, 21-hour standoff ensued, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina confirmed to reporters at a press conference Monday night that the four children, ages 1, 6, 10 and 11, were found deceased from apparent gunshot wounds, adding that authorities believe Lindsey took his own life after killing the victims.
On Wednesday, Mina said a medical examiner confirmed that a handgun belonging to Lindsey was recovered at the scene, adding that it was the same gun that was used to kill the children.
Mina said following several interactions with Lindsey, the SWAT team entered the residence at approximately 9 p.m., after law enforcement agents saw one of the children was dead.
“We had been in constant contact [with the suspect], both directly and indirectly throughout the day, and as late as 8:30 or the 9 o’clock hour,” Mina said at Monday’s press conference. “At one point we were having trouble with the suspect’s phone….he had one of those WiFi-only phones so the connection really wasn’t good. And although we were talking with him through other means, we wanted to talk with him on the phone. We tried to introduce one of our phones and when we did that, we noticed that one of the children were obviously deceased. And that’s when decided to start our plans to make entry to try and rescue the rest of the children.”
A GoFundMe crowdfunding effort has been set up to help the Valencia family with “short term and long term expenses,” according to the website, and all donations are tax deductible. You may donate by clicking here.
[Feature Photo: Kevin Valencia/Handout]