ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Police Department says that a SWAT situation is ongoing at the Westbrook Apartments on Eaglesmere Drive, which is just north of Universal Studios. Four children are being held hostage by a man who shot one Orlando police officer overnight, FOX 35 WOFL reports.
They tweeted that at 11:45 p.m., police responded to a domestic violence call at the complex. Officers met a woman off-site. She told them that her boyfriend battered her. Officers went to arrest him at an apartment, but the suspect fired shots, striking one of their officers.
Police Chief John Mina says that the officer was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center, where surgery was done. He is expected to survive, but his injuries are serious.
“It is a very serious, significant injury,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a news conference Monday. “He is expected to survive.”
The suspect barricaded himself inside the apartment and took four children — ages 1, 7, 10 and 12 — as hostages, Mina said. He added that the children may have been the suspect’s children.
The suspect is barricaded inside the home with four hostages – children who are 1, 7, 10 and 12 years old. pic.twitter.com/7pPYjX8O4H
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 11, 2018
Mina said at least one officer returned fire during the exchange.
He said it was unknown whether the suspect was hit.
SWAT was at the scene negotiating with the suspect early Monday morning, FOX News reports.
“Our main concern right now is the safety of the children in that apartment,” the police chief told reporters. “Hopefully he peacefully surrenders.”
The incident began after a woman called police saying her boyfriend had beat her. The suspect opened fire when officers attempted to arrest him.
Steven Martinez, who lives at the apartment complex, told the Orlando Sentinel he was going to bed when he heard gunshots.
Judy Pepper, 44, said she lives at the apartment complex and had fallen asleep on her couch after watching the Yankees-Mets game. She said she was startled awake when she heard four loud gunshots: “It just went, ‘Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop,’’ Pepper said.
Pepper said she looked out her window and saw three people carrying a police officer onto the grass. Other officers arrived and started working on the injured officer, Pepper said.
They cut open his shirt and appeared to put bandages on his neck, Pepper said. Officers put him in a patrol car and sped away, she said.
This is an ongoing situation, we will keep you updated as factual intel comes in.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.