An armed suspect barricaded himself in an Orlando, Florida, apartment with four children, including a 1-year-old, Monday morning after he allegedly shot and wounded an officer responding to a domestic violence call, authorities said.
The wounded officer suffered a “very serious and significant injury” and underwent surgery this morning at Orlando Regional Medical Center, city Police Chief John Mina said.
The shooting broke out about 11:45 p.m. Sunday and police negotiators were still trying to get the barricaded man to give up peacefully as a SWAT team surrounded the Westbrook apartment complex.
“Our main concern right now is the safety of the children that are in that apartment,” Mina said.
He said the child hostages are ages 1, 7, 10 and 12.
“I believe some of them are his children,” Mina said.
No one involved has been named publicly.
Mina said the incident started when the mother of some of the children contacted police to report her boyfriend had battered her and directed officers to an apartment in the Westbrook complex.
The mother met with police outside complex, authorities said.
As several police officers approached the apartment, shots rang out and the officer was hit, Mina said. At least one officer fired back at the gunman, but Mina said he wasn’t sure whether the suspect was shot.
“So right now the suspect is barricaded in his apartment,” Mina said. “He has spoken with us a couple of times but has hung up the phone on us a couple of times, too.”
The wounded officer has been on the police force less than two years, the police chief said, adding that the officer is expected to survive.
“We’ve been through this before. It’s very hard,” Mina said. “It’s very traumatic to have one of your officers shot in the line of duty. We’re just praying that he’s going to be OK.”