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Video shows Kissimmee police confronting suicidal child porn suspect

Detectives recall saving children

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Video released Monday shows Kissimmee police confronting a man wanted on child pornography charges moments before he took his own life.

Kissimmee police officials said an unmarked patrol vehicle pulled over Luis Valentin, 48, around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday near John Young Parkway.

Dash camera video from one of the unmarked vehicles shows detectives followed Valentin until he pulled over into a commercial parking lot. From there, Detective Jean Paul Antepara approached the driver's side of Valentin's vehicle and Detective Justin Lunsford took the passenger's side.

[Click here to watch the dash cam and body cam video]

Both detectives said they spoke with Valentin the day before and because he was friendly then, they expected a similar interaction.

"There was nothing whatsoever, any contact that we had with him, that would have given us any indication that it could have gone this way," Antepara said.

Things took a turn for the worse when Antepara noticed Valentin had a gun. By that point, both detectives had also realized that Valentin's 7-year-old child and 11-year-old child were in the backseat.

"I see the gun and then I see the children," Antepara said. "He makes a motion with his hand and as he's pulling the gun away from his head, I can see the slide is locked back, which means it's not functioning."

That gave Lunsford a window of opportunity to save the children.

"The back door was unlocked, I just opened it up and grabbed the young girl, got her out of the car and then the young boy was already sliding toward me, so I grabbed him and as soon as I got (them) out of the car, I told them to run," Lunsford said.

As the children were getting out, Valentin pointed the gun at Antepara.

"He looks at me because I'm yelling at him through the window, he looks at me and somewhat points the gun in my general direction, so I go to take a shot at that point, but right behind them, I got the kids moving out of the car, so I can't,"  Antepara said.

Video from an officer's body camera shows the frightened young children running away from their father's vehicle toward safety. They were not harmed and are in the custody of family members.

"I mean, they were scared. I don't think they realized (what was) going on. I think it was happening so fast for them that they just saw us and reacted to what I was telling them, which was come to me and then run," Lunsford said.

Once the children were safe, the detectives focused on trying to get Valentin to put the gun down. A negotiator then began making commands over a PA system.

"There was no dialogue from him. He never spoke back, he never engaged in conversation. We tried for a while," Antepara said.

At some point, police said Valentin shot himself in the chest.

The detectives were taking cover so they said they didn't even hear the fatal shot. Valentin died at the scene, officials said.

While they hoped for a better outcome, the detectives said they're glad the children were safe.

"It ended as good as it could have ended for the kids," Antepara said. "We can't control his actions, what he chose to do to himself, but in the end, no one else is hurt."

Still, Lunsford said he recognizes that the emotional scars will take some time to heal.

"I'm sad for his children, that they had to be put in that situation by him, that's probably the most heartbreaking part of it, that his kids had to be there and be exposed to that," Lunsford said.

As a father himself, Lunsford said the incident made him cherish his family even more.

"I went home and just spent time with my children, read my little girl a book, put her to bed and that's it," Lunsford said.

Authorities have not released information about the child pornography allegations against Valentin, other than saying the investigation is still active and they are working to identify victims.


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