ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando police officer suffered a “very serious and significant injury” late Sunday when he was shot while responding to a domestic violence dispute at an apartment complex, where a standoff with hostages is underway, Chief John Mina said.
Orlando police swarmed the Westbrook Apartments on Eaglesmere Drive off Kirkman Road near Universal Orlando, and a standoff is underway with man who has barricaded himself while holding four children, ages 1 to 12, hostage, Mina said.
The officer, whose name has not been released, underwent surgery and is expected to survive, Mina said.
According to Mina, a woman called police, met them near the complex and said her boyfriend had beaten her. As officers made contact with the man outside the apartment, gunfire was exchanged, and the officer was struck, Mina said.
A couple who lives in a nearby apartment said they heard police say, “Open the door,” before four shots were fired.
The officer, who has been with the agency for less than two years, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery.
“We’re hoping for prayers from our community for our officer’s full recovery,” Mina said. “It’s hard. It’s very traumatic when one of your officers is shot in the line of duty.”
At least one OPD officer fired at the suspect, but it’s not known if the man was shot, said Mina, who added that officers are working to negotiate a peaceful resolution.
[PHOTOS: OPD officer shot]
“We have spoken with him a couple of times, and he’s hung up the phone a couple of times,” said Mina, who added that the safety of the children is top priority.
The suspect, who officials said has a criminal history, is the father of some of the children, who are ages 1, 7, 10 and 12, according to Mina.
Officers evacuated nearby units of the complex in the middle of the night, and some residents, many wearing pajamas, stood in nearby restaurant parking lots.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will launch an investigation, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.
The shooting took place in the same area where Orlando police Officer William Anderson was struck by a suspect’s vehicle and severely injured in July 2015.
Edward Kelty, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in connection with running over Anderson.