The Orlando Sentinel reports that four children have perished in a hostage standoff situation. The standoff lasted nearly 24 hours in the Westbrook Apartments in Orlando, and four children were found murdered after a man shot an officer and held them hostage for a day.

Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., 35, was a felon and on probation for arson among other charges. He shot the children that were his hostages before shooting himself and taking his own life late Monday night.

The children ranged in age from 1 to 12.

Orlando police were still monitoring access to the apartment complex 8 hours after the standoff ended. Debris covered the landing where the murders happened. A trail of blood led away from the apartment to a pool of blood at the top of the stairs. Bullet holes were found in a door across the hall from the apartment.

The standoff began after a woman called police saying she had been battered by Lindsey. When they arrived, a shootout started and an officer was shot.

Negotiators talked to Lindsey several times, but the last communication was around 9 p.m., when officers saw the body of one of the children and tried to rescue the others.

* Photo credit Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel