'He has a gun:' Mother of 4 children killed feared leaving them with boyfriend
Orlando police release 911 call made after domestic violence incident
ORLANDO, Fla. – The mother of four children killed by her boyfriend called 911 from a 7-Eleven after fleeing her Orlando apartment, according to the June 10 call released Thursday by Orlando police.
Ciara Lopez told Orlando police dispatch during the 11:43 p.m. 911 call that her boyfriend, Gary Lindsey Jr., hurt her and took her phone.
"He hurt me and he has my phone and he has a gun, and there’s four children in the house," Lopez said, her voice shaking.
The dispatcher asked Lopez if Lindsey had ever pulled the gun on her. "Not today," she replied.
Lopez said her four children were locked in their rooms at the home at Westbrook Apartments complex and she drove to the nearby 7-Eleven to get help.
"I have to go back to the apartment," she told dispatch several times.
Four minutes after that 911 call, Orlando police met Lopez at the complex's leasing office on Eaglesmere Drive, just off Kirkman Road, and attempted to get the children out. During that interaction with Lindsey, OPD Officer Kevin Valencia was shot in the head and critically injured, police said. He remains in critical condition almost two weeks later.
Almost 24 hours after police arrived at the apartment and exchanged fire with Lindsey, Irayan Pluth, 12; Lillia Pluth, 10; Aidan Lindsey, 6; and Dove Lindsey, 1, were found shot to death in their beds, police said.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Lindsey shot and killed the children, two of whom were his own, before taking his own life.
"I don’t want to leave them alone there for too long, because he might do something," Lopez told dispatch.
Lopez's attorney released a statement Thursday afternoon about the 911 calls.
"It is clearly evident that in the recently released 911 call placed by Ciara Lopez ... at 11:43 p.m. that she had been physically assaulted and was in a state of terror, in fear for her children’s lives at this point," the statement read.
Lopez told a 911 operator that she was scratched up but didn't need medical attention.
At 4:35 a.m., Lindsey's sister from Jacksonville called Orlando police unsure if her brother was the barricaded suspect, but saw the news and said she put two and two together after she received a call from Lindsey's friend at 2:30 a.m. who informed her Lindsey was threatening to kill himself.
"He texted a friend before and said he was going to kill himself and said he was barricaded in an apartment and that he shot through the door at a cop and he didn't a know a cop was there anyway I don't know if he knew - all I know is that how many of these can be going on right now," she said.
Lindsey's sister told dispatch, still unsure if her brother was the suspect, that she wanted to help if she could.
"I didn't know exactly where it was. No one really did. I'm just calling because I saw this on the news and I was wondering if there was anything my mother and I could help," she said.
Lindsey could have been in jail at the time of the shooting if it wasn’t for payments he needed to make for burning his ex-girlfriend’s house down in 2008, according to courtroom video from two recent Volusia County probation hearings.
About a month before the fatal shooting, Lindsey's girlfriend, his sister and mother appeared in court on his behalf during two probation hearings.
The hearings came after Lindsey's fourth violation of probation, when he was arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart store in Sanford in May.
Lindsey's sister made a $1,000 restitution payment for Lindsey. The judge said that literally "saved him" from going to prison.
Orlando police also released 911 calls made by several concerned Westbrook residents.
About 5 minutes after 1 a.m., several residents called and reported hearing several gunshots around the time Orlando police officers exchanged fire with Lindsey and Valencia was shot.
Police called in an "officer down" at 1:07 a.m., records show.
"The cop is hurt," a woman said, looking down from her apartment window as officers attempted to help Valencia.
"We just heard a lot of gunshots in my neighborhood and someone screaming," another resident said.
Orlando police didn't wait for an ambulance to arrive and drove Valencia to the hospital, Mina said.
The funeral for the four children will be held Saturday at St. James Catholic Cathedral Church, in downtown Orlando.
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