Florida feels kind of like the epicenter of tragedy in this country at the moment. Despite it having no kind of monopoly on horrible events, one can almost be forgiven for believing otherwise.
The most recent involved a man taking four children hostage after his girlfriend told police he’d battered her earlier this week. In the end, all four children were killed, a police officer was shot, and the hostage taker committed suicide.
Oh, yeah, he was also a convicted felon.
A Florida felon who authorities say killed four children after a daylong standoff that started with the shooting of an officer had recently violated his parole, and his parole officer recommended that he be put in jail for six months. Instead he was given supervised probation, court records show.
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Gary Lindsey was arrested last month for theft and then jailed for violating his probation from a decade-old arson charge, the records show. His probation officer said Lindsey posed no threat to the community but she still recommended that he be incarcerated for six months. However, Lindsey’s sister agreed to pay $1,000 and he agreed to pay $300 a month toward restitution, and his supervised probation was reinstated during a court hearing. The records show Lindsey had been working at an auto center in Orlando, earning $1,300 a month.
Sunday’s 21-hour standoff began when Lindsey’s girlfriend left the apartment and told police she had been battered. Lindsey fired at responding officers, seriously wounding one of them. He then holed up inside the apartment for much of the day with the four children, who they say ranged in age from 1 to 11. The girlfriend was the mother of all four children and Lindsey was the father of…