After shooting and seriously injuring a police officer, a man has barricaded himself into an Orlando apartment with 4 young children. Police have been urging the man to give himself up, but their ‘main’ priority is the kids’ safety.
A gunman has barricaded himself inside an Orlando, Florida apartment with four young children, according to NBC affiliate WESH News. Authorities said on June 11 that the suspect also shot a police officer, severely injuring him, before seeking safety inside the apartment with his hostages. The four children with him are reportedly ages 1,7, 10, and 12. Officers arrived at the apartment complex, which is located near the Universal Orlando theme park, late on June 10 after a woman said she had been battered by the suspect, whom she described as her boyfriend, police said.
It was then the man and police exchanged gunfire, and one officer was seriously injured. The woman, however, is safe, as she had already left the apartment after she was allegedly assaulted. “We are trying to negotiate with the subject so that he peacefully surrenders,” Police chief John Mina told reporters at a morning news conference on June 11. “Our main concern right now is the safety of the children in that apartment.”
The officer who was shot suffered “very significant injuries,” according to John, but is “expected to survive.” At this time it is unclear if the suspect was also injured during the shootout. Police negotiators are currently urging the man to give himself up. Meanwhile, Judy Pepper, a resident of the apartment complex, told the Orlando Sentinel that she looked out her window after hearing the gunfire — and what she saw “terrified” her.
Judy saw three people carrying a police officer onto the grass, and once other officers arrived, she saw the injured cop’s shirt being cut open. Officers appeared to be putting bandages around his neck. Soon after, they put him in a patrol car and sped away. “Hell, yes, I was absolutely terrified,” she said.