ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Police say a man suspected of battering his girlfriend wounded a police officer late Sunday and barricaded himself inside an apartment with four young children.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said during a Monday morning news conference that the woman left the apartment late Sunday and alerted officers to the assault. They went to the Westboork Apartments, located near the Universal Orlando theme park. Gunfire was exchanged; Mina said they don’t know if the man was shot.
The officer was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. Mina said the officer has “very significant injuries” but is expected to survive. He asked the community for prayers for the officer and his family.
Mina said the suspect is holed up with four children, ages 1, 7, 10 and 12.
“Our main concern is the safety of the children in that apartment,” Mina said.
Police have not released the name of the suspect or the officer.
Judy Pepper, who lives in the apartment complex, told the Orlando Sentinel she had fallen asleep on the couch after watching the Sunday night baseball game on television when she heard four loud gunshots.
“It just went, “Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop,” Pepper said.
She looked out the window and saw three people carrying a police officer onto the grass. She said other officers arrived, cut open his shirt and appeared to be putting bandages on his neck. Then, the put him in a patrol car and sped away.
“Hell, yes, I was absolutely terrified,” she said.
Officers evacuated other residents of the complex in the middle of the night. Some were milling around nearby restaurant parking lots on Monday morning, still wearing pajamas.