ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia has died from injuries he suffered during a standoff on June 11, 2018 when he was shot, according to the Orlando Police Department.
“It is with deep regret and heartache that I inform you of the passing of Officer Kevin Valencia,” Chief Orlando Rolon said in a statement Monday.
Police said Valencia was shot in the head when he responded to a domestic violence call.
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It is with deep regret and heart ache that I inform you of the passing of Officer Kevin Valencia. I ask everyone to keep Meghan, their kids, and the entire Valencia family in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/MB039dko5A— Chief Orlando Rolón (@OrlandoPDChief) March 15, 2021
Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., the man involved in the domestic violence call killed four young children and himself, according to investigators.
Two of the children killed were kids of Lindsey.
During the standoff, Lindsey’s girlfriend gave OPD the key to the apartment.
Records show Valencia tried to use the key to open the door, but the key broke.
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Valencia started to kick the door and after the second time, Lindsey started firing shots through the door.
Officer Valencia was shot in the head.
Records show another officer returned fire through the door, this caused the shooter to run.
“[T]he decision to kick the door made by Sergeant Amanda White was made in good faith, but was not made to an acceptable standard of performance and was NOT within Orlando Police Department’s Policies and Procedures,” investigator Nick Collins wrote in his report.
White told investigators she made the decision to force entry because there were no sounds coming from the apartment.
“I felt like the kids, like we needed to get inside for the kids. There was no sound coming from inside,” White told investigators. In another interview, she said it was a “gut feeling that there’s just ... something is not right.”
Valencia officially retired on Oct. 20, 2020, from the department and was awarded a Purple Heart.
Five months ago, the police department said Valencia was showing signs of improvement from his injuries.
Valencia leaves behind his wife, Meghan, and their two young sons.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Meghan, the kids and my Orlando police family. Officer Kevin Valencia risked his life for this community and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. “He is a hero and will be remembered forever.”
My thoughts and prayers are with Meghan, the kids and my @OrlandoPolice family. Officer Kevin Valencia risked his life for this community and paid the ultimate sacrifice. He is a hero and will be remembered forever #NeverForget https://t.co/qTboADCcqm— Sheriff John Mina (@SheriffMina) March 15, 2021
The police department shared the news Monday afternoon asking the community to continue their prayers and support for the Valencia family.
Rolon said the Valencia family will always be part of the OPD family.
“We will do all that we can to honor Kevin’s service to the OPD and the city of Orlando and ensure that our community never forgets the ultimate sacrifice Meghan’s husband and Kaleb and Kolton’s father made for his community,” the statement read.
Details on the funeral arrangements have not been made public at this time.
The Orlando Police Department posted a video of investigators escorting Officer Valencia.
This evening, Officer Kevin Valencia was escorted by our officers, as well as those from other agencies. Brother, we’ll take it from here... pic.twitter.com/UcywwuLdug— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) March 16, 2021
“Brother, we’ll take it from here,” OPD posted on social media.