Orlando, FL – Two months after Orlando Officer Kevin Valencia was shot and critically injured in the line of duty, his fellow officers escorted his 5-year-old son to his first day of kindergarten (video below).
“Two months ago today, Officer Kevin Valencia was shot in the line of duty and remains in a coma,” the department tweeted on Friday.
“Today, his son Kaleb started kindergarten. Since his daddy couldn't be there, Kevin’s Squad and @ChiefJohnMina escorted Kaleb to his first day of school," the tweet said.
A video clip attached to the tweet featured the excited youngster and he showed the police officers officers his Lego Batman backpack and new “police officer” shoes.
He gave the officers high-fives before over a dozen of his blue family members escorted him to his new classroom.
Officer Valencia, 27, was responding to a domestic violence call at 11:45 p.m. on June 10, after a woman fled from her apartment and called police from a nearby store to report that she had been battered by her boyfriend, 35-year-old Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., Chief Mina said at the time.
Sources told WFTV that the woman provided officers with keys to the apartment, but that the key broke off in the door lock, prompting officers to attempt to force entry.
Lindsey was waiting on the other side and fired through the door, hitting Officer Valencia 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.
Two of the children inside the home were believed to be Lindsey’s, while the other two were believed to belong to Lindsey’s girlfriend.
Officer Valencia was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery, the Associated Press reported.
He has remained in a coma since that time, police said.
“In the middle of the night, officers came to me and they woke me up…and told me that my husband had been shot trying to save some kids,” Officer Valencia’s wife, Meghan, said through tears during a news conference several days after her husband was critically wounded.
“I’m a mom, and I can't 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 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.”
“He is fighting every second, and I need him to continue to keep fighting,” Meghan implored. “He has to come back.”
Officer Valencia has been with the department since 2016.
A fundraising account established to assist Officer Valencia’s family during his long road to recovery had raised over $165,000 as of Friday afternoon.
You can watch Kaleb’s arrival to his first day of Kindergarten in the video below: