An Orlando police officer was fatally shot in the line of duty Monday morning and the suspect — who was already
Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was shot in the parking lot of a Walmart on Princeton Street in Orlando, police chief John Mina said at a Monday morning news conference. She died at 7:40 a.m., he said.
The suspect, Markeith Loyd, had been sought in the fatal shooting of his pregnant girlfriend, Mina said, adding that according to preliminary information, Clayton recognized Loyd before her fatal shooting.
A manhunt for Loyd is ongoing and “he should be considered armed and dangerous,” Mina said.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at the news conference that authorities “have been very aggressively looking for Markeith Loyd for the past couple of weeks” in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Sade Dixon, on Dec. 13.
Demings suspects that Loyd is “receiving help from someone, and we’re calling upon sensible individuals to help us bring him to justice on this day.”
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Clayton, whose family could not immediately be reached, worked weekend day-shift patrol and she “will be missed beyond words,” the Orlando Police Department wrote
. “She always had a smile/high five 4 every kid she came across.”
Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, wkd dayshift patrol, will be missed beyond words. She always had a smile/high five 4 every/kid she came across. pic.twitter.com/XUp1Z2RcFY— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) January 9, 2017
According to Mina, Clayton is married and has two children. He described her as “a hero, and she gave her life protecting the community she loved, and she will be deeply missed.”
Deputy Killed in Crash While Assisting Manhunt: Report
An Orange County sheriff’s deputy was killed in a vehicle crash while assisting with law enforcement following the shooting, Sheriff Demings said Monday. The deputy was working the manhunt for Loyd at the time of his death, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Demings said a motorist turned in front of the deputy’s vehicle, causing the collision. The motorist had a green light and “was not traveling at an inordinate rate of speed,” Demings said.
The deputy died in the hospital from his injuries and has not been publicly identified because his family has not been notified, Demings said.
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After the fatal shooting, Loyd allegedly fired at another law enforcement officer while fleeing, Demings said.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has declared an official day of mourning, according
Some area schools are on lockdown, Demings said.
Police have asked anyone with information on Loyd to call 1-800-423-TIPS.
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