8-hour standoff in Winter Garden ends peacefully

By Erin Murray, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017, 4:16 PM EDT

An eight-hour standoff with a barricaded person in Winter Garden ended peacefully Monday afternoon, deputies said.

  • Man with criminal history wanted for missing sentencing hearing
  • Eddie Darby Jr. was inside with children for about 8 hours
  • Suspect finally surrendered at about 2 p.m.; no injuries

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the standoff began when the suspect, 44-year-old Eddie Lewis Darby Jr., who is a convicted felon, skipped out on his sentencing in March.

Darby was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of cocaine. He was supposed to be sentenced in mid-March, but he didn't show up. Investigators said they have been looking for him since the sentencing court date.

Authorities tracked Darby on Monday at a home near 1130 Lincoln Terrace in Winter Garden. He refused to come out of the home when law enforcement arrived at the scene.

Investigators said they knew it was a delicate situation when an important tip came in.

"They learned through his girlfriend there were children inside with him," said Jane Watrel, a spokeswoman with the Orange County Sheriff's Office. "A 1-year-old, a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old."

Watrel said deputies and Winter Garden Police tried to use all communication methods to talk to Darby.

"We tried calling him on the phone, calling him out," she said. "Nothing was working. We called in our SWAT team at about 9 a.m. about three hours into it."

Darby "gave up peacefully" shortly after 2 p.m. No injuries were reported.

A few houses along Lincoln Terrace were evacuated Monday during the standoff, deputies said.