Authorities are offering a $60,000 reward for anyone who helps to capture the man suspected of shooting and killing Orlando police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton. Markeith Loyd, 41, was accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend Sade Dixon in December, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
Orange County Sheriff Deputy Jerry Demings said a motorcyle deputy was killed in a crash with a 78-year-old driver during the manhunt effort to capture the suspect. Worth noting, Monday was and still is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina called Clayton, a mother of two, a hero.
“We’re sad on this day for many reasons,” Chief Mino said at a morning news conference at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene just after 7:15 a.m. in response to an “officer needs help.”
Loyd, who was wearing a security uniform at the time of the shooting, shot Master Sgt. Clayton three times outside a Walmart on Monday before fleeing the scene on Princeton Street, located west of John Young Parkway.
“(The shooter) was an average looking dude, he walked by me, had a security vest and everything,” witness James Herman said. “I was walking down the sidewalk, right past the officer, and I heard her tell him to stop, or whatever, and he shot her. He shot her down.”
Herman said a shopper had tipped off the unnamed officer — who was putting bags in the trunk of her vehicle — that Loyd was in the Walmart waiting to check out. As the officer walked towards the store, the suspect barged out and fired at least 12 shots, according to Herman. Three shots hit the officer.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m. EST, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported that a murder suspect was on the loose and flooded the Pine Hills area, located a few miles west of Orlando. They said he had abandoned a stolen vehicle not far from the Walmart. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) sent out an alert midday, describing him as 6-3, 230 pounds and having last been seen on Cinderlane Parkway.
Loyd has a long wrap sheet and extensive criminal history. On Nov. 30, he wrote on his Facebook page, “Goals!!!! To be on Americas most wanted.”
On Dec. 13, Loyd had gone to his girlfriend’s home on Long Peak Drive and began banging on the door. When Dixon answered, he shot her and her 26-year-old brother, Ronald Steward. He was critically wounded and five other people were home at the time of the shooting, including Dixon’s 5- and 7-year-old children.
“We are going to bring this dirtbag to justice, and he’s going to jail,” Chief Mina said.
Master Sgt. Clayton was one of the first officers to respond to the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in June that left 49 people dead and more than 50 injured.
“We’re sad on this day for many reasons,” Sheriff Demings said at a morning news conference at Orlando Regional Medical Center. “In my 36-year career, this is possibly one of the toughest days for me.”
Video courtesy of the Orlando Police Department
Penny Mae / January 10, 2017
I’ll throw in 30$to the tally.
Nancye J. May / January 11, 2017
Up to $100,000 reward now.