Doctor: Orlando officer shot in standoff is in coma

Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia was in critical condition but has shown signs of responsiveness, the doctor said


By Mike Schneider 
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A police officer is in a coma and has a long road to recovery after being shot in the head earlier in the week by a Florida felon who eventually killed four children during a standoff, a trauma surgeon said Wednesday.

Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia was in critical condition but has shown signs of responsiveness, the doctor said.

Residents at Westbrook Apartments get a first look at their building where a gunman held four children hostage before taking their life and his own, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
Residents at Westbrook Apartments get a first look at their building where a gunman held four children hostage before taking their life and his own, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

"He has a long road ahead for recovery," said Dr. Chadwick Smith at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Valencia's wife, Meghan, said her husband is a fighter. Sobbing as she talked about her husband, Meghan Valencia said they are childhood sweethearts and have two sons.

"We were each other's first boyfriend and girlfriend when we were 12," she said. "You can imagine this person is literally everything to me."

Meghan Valencia expressed sorrow for the killing of the four children by Gary Lindsey, who holed up with the children in a 21-hour standoff that ended late Monday. The children, ranging in age from 1 to 11, belonged to Lindsey and his girlfriend.

Sunday night's standoff began when Lindsey's girlfriend left the apartment and told police she had been battered. Lindsey fired at responding officers, seriously wounding Valencia. One officer was able to return fire.

Lindsey, 35, was found dead in a closet when officers entered the apartment Monday night. Two of the children were found in one bedroom, and the other two were found in another bedroom. The medical examiner on Wednesday reported that children were killed from bullets from Lindsey's handgun and not from the exchange of fire from officers, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.

Mina defended the decision not to storm the apartment sooner, saying such actions might have provoked Lindsey and put the children in harm's way.

Meanwhile, Meghan Valencia asked for prayers from the public.

"He needs all the support he can get," Meghan Valencia said. "So that he can wake up. So that he can live because my boys need a daddy and I need my husband and this community needs a real hero."

 
Wife of injured police officer asks for prayers

PRAYERS FOR OFFICER VALENCIA❤️: The wife of Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia, who was shot while trying to save four children during a deadly standoff, tearfully pleads for the community's prayers while he is in a coma in critical condition. "He's fighting every second." How to help: https://bit.ly/2l8OWBA

Posted by FOX 13 News - Tampa Bay on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

 

Associated Press
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