Orlando, FL – The wife of an Orlando police officer who was shot in the head by a man who later murdered four child hostages tearfully pleaded for the community’s support and prayers during a Wednesday night news conference (video below).
Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia, 27, was responding to a domestic violence call late Sunday night when 35-year-old Gary Wayne Lindsey opened fire through an apartment door, hitting him in the eye, WFTV reported.
During the 21-hour standoff that ensued, Lindsey murdered the children – ages one, six, 10, and 11 – before he turned the gun on himself, police said.
Officer Valencia was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery, the Associated Press reported.
He remained in a coma in critical condition on Wednesday night, but has shown signs of responsiveness, one of his trauma surgeons said.
Officer Valencia’s wife, Meghan, hasn’t left the hospital since officers brought her to be with her husband early Monday morning, WOFL reported.
“In the middle of the night, officers came to my and they woke me up…and told me that my husband had been shot trying to save some kids,” Meghan said through tears during the news conference.
“I’m a mom, and I can even imagine what they’re going through,” she said of the families of the children who were killed. “It is more than what anybody can bear.”
Meghan, whose sons are five years old and eight months old, said that all of her husband’s fellow officers were struggling in the wake of the incident.
“I know every officer wanted to get those children out,” she said. “Each and every single one of them feels the weight of the world because they couldn’t.”
In addition to her family and friends, Meghan thanked her “police family” and the hospital staff, who she said are doing “everything that they possibly can to try to bring my husband back to me.”
Meghan said that she and Officer Valencia were each other’s “first love,” and that they have been together since they were just 12 years old.
“You can imagine that this person is literally everything to me,” the grieving wife and mother said through sobs. “He blessed me with two amazing little boys, and he…is the most amazing father ever.”
She said that he Officer Valencia is “always there” to help her and their children.
“Even when he was working, he would pick up the phone and he would talk to them, and he would tell them that he was going to be home to play with them,” she recalled.
“He is fighting every second, and I need him to continue to keep fighting,” Meghan implored. “He has to come back.”
“I just ask that everybody prays for him, because he needs it,” she said. “He needs all the support that he can get so that he can pull through. So that he can wake up. So that he can live.”
“My boys need a daddy,” Meghan said at the conclusion of the news conference. “And I need my husband.”
A fundraising account established to assist Officer Valencia’s family during his long road to recovery had raised over $82,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
You can see part of Meghan’s news conference below: