The mother of the four children killed during a hostage situation in Orlando, Florida is “in complete shock,” according to her attorney.
Following a nearly 24-hour long police standoff at an apartment complex in Orlando, Florida, during which time 35-year-old Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr. held children hostage, the four children fatally injured in the incident have been identified as Irayan Lopez, 12; Lillia Lopez, 10; Aidan Lindsey, 6; and 22-month-old Dove Lindsey.
“The mother is in just complete shock. Right now she is angry and that will turn to grief that nobody can even fathom,” family attorney Walter Benanti told PEOPLE.
The incident began Sunday night when the children’s mother reported a domestic violence incident involving Lindsey, stating that he had kicked her in the head several times. She reportedly managed to escape the apartment and make her way to a restaurant, where she called police, though she was forced to leave her four children behind.
“Some may question why she ran out of that building, but nobody can know what she was going through, what horror she was feeling,” Benenati told the Orlando Sentinel. “In fairness to her, nobody can imagine taking the life of precious young children, which is what happened here.”
The police standoff began after officers arrived to the Westbrook Apartments and Lindsey began firing, shooting Officer Kevin Valencia, an officer with the police department since 2016, and critically wounding him. He then barricaded himself inside of the apartment with the four children, though police had “direct and indirect” contact with him throughout the duration of the hostage situation.
Authorities attempted a rescue operation after they brought a phone to Lindsey and saw the body of one of the children in the apartment. When they entered the apartment, however, they discovered all four children dead from gunshot wounds and Lindsey dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.0comments
Lindsey, the father of two of the children, “selfishly took the lives of these precious innocent angels,” Benanti wrote on a GoFundMe page he set up for the children’s mother. “These beautiful babies never hurt anyone.”
While the incident is still under investigation and the cause of the hostage situation is still undetermined, Benanti claimed that Lindsey, who already had a long criminal record, “was afraid to go back to prison.” At the time of the hostage situation, Lindsey had reportedly been on probation in relation to a 2008 incident involving a woman he had been in a relationship with.