ORLANDO, Fla. - The wife of, Kevin Valencia, the Orlando police officer, critically wounded when shot by a suspected hostage- taker, said Wednesday her husband is the hero the community needs and he is fighting for his life.
Speaking at Orlando Regional Medical Center alongside members of her husband's OPD squad, Police Chief John Mina and the surgeon who operated on her husband, Meghan Valencia said she received the bad news after being awakened overnight Monday to a knock on the door.
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"They took me here and told me my husband had been shot trying to save some kids," she said.
Kevin Valencia was shot in the head Sunday just before midnight through the front door of an Orlando apartment as police tried to speak with a man who would later kill four children, including two of his own, and then take his own life.
Meghan and Kevin Valencia, who are in their late 20s, met when they were 12 and have been together ever since. The couple have two young boys together, ages 5 and 8 months.
"He blessed me with two amazing little boys and he was, he is, he is the most amazing father ever," Meghan Valencia said correcting herself when using past tense.
Through tears, she spoke directly to the families of the four children who were killed by Gary Lindsey Jr. Sunday night, saying that every officer who tried to save them feels the "weight of world" that they couldn't.
"I'm so sorry to those families, because I'm a mom and I cannot even imagine what they are going through," Meghan Valencia said. "It is more than what anybody can bear."
Ciara Lopez, the mother of the four children killed, issued a statement Wednesday through her attorney.
"I am heartbroken and feel completely alone," Lopez said.
Attorney Walter Benenati said Lopez "is grieving considerably and is surrounded by loving family and friends at this time."
“The pain comes from having her children in her life one day and then gone the next," Benenati said.
Dr. Chadwick Smith, an Orlando Regional Medical Center trauma surgeon, said Kevin Valencia was shot in the head and is "showing signs of responsiveness" while in a coma.
Smith and Fraternal Order of Police President Shawn Dunlap both stressed that the police officer will have a very long road to recovery.
Leaders and local law enforcement officials have extended their support to Valencia and the Orlando Police Department. Anyone looking to offer support to Valencia and his family can visit the GoFundMe account set up on his behalf.
Mina thanked the community for its overwhelming support and said the department is prepared to be there for the Valencia family for every step of the way.
"He is fighting every second and I need him to continue to keep fighting," Meghan Valencia said.
After an almost 24-hour standoff, Orange County Sheriff's Office SWAT team members entered the Westbrook Apartments home to find Gary Lindsey Jr. had killed all four children, Iraya Lopez, 12, Lillia Lopez, 10, Aidan Lindsey, 6, and Dove Lindsey, 1, and then himself.
Officer Talmon Hall, a member of Valencia's Orlando police squad, described Valencia as a hero whose spirit cannot be broken.
"He wanted to be the first to bring the children out of the house and be the person to bring the bad guy out of the house," Talmon said.
Meghan Valencia asked for continued support for her husband to help him pull through.
"My boys need a daddy and I need my husband.," Meghan Valencia said. “And this community needs a real hero."
Watch the full news conference below.
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