Markeith Loyd is wanted in connection with the murder of 42-year-old mother and Orlando police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, and his pregnant 24-year-old girlfriend. The suspect allegedly shot Sgt. Clayton outside a Walmart, after a caller informed her about the man’s location. The perpetrator eluded Orlando police officers after he fatally shot his girlfriend on December 13th, 2016, and critically injuring her brother who came to her rescue. The woman was the mother of two boys, a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old, and was carrying the suspect’s child at the time of her death.
Shortly after Sgt. Clayton’s passing, yet another police officer was killed. However, his death occurred after the motorcycle he was riding collided with another vehicle. John Mina, Orlando Police Chief has vowed to find the suspect and bring him to justice.
“We will track him down to the ends of the Earth to find him”, said Police Chief, John Mina.
The tragedy also weighed heavily on Jerry Demings, Orange County Sheriff who expressed his regrets in regard to the police officers’ deaths. A bounty was placed on the suspect’s head. Anyone able to provide information that leads to Loyd’s arrest will be rewarded with $60,000, according to the Orlando police department.
James Herman who witnessed the shooting that went down in front of the Walmart where the suspect allegedly fired his gun at Sgt. Clayton says the man opened fire as soon as the police officer attempted to take him into custody. At first, the witness believed Markeith Loyd was a security officer, because of his shirt which resembled a security shirt. According to his account, the suspect continued to fire his gun behind him as he was running away. Sgt. Clayton fired back, but investigators were unable to find any traces of blood that would indicate any of the law enforcement officer’s bullets hit their target.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s Steve Groeninger, the death of Sgt. Debra Clayton marks the first fatal shooting of a police officer in the U.S. in 2017. Ultimately, the deaths of the two police officers rank as the second and third on-duty law enforcement officer deaths of the year. The first death while on duty was recorded on Saturday, January 7th, after a North Las Vegas police department officer died in a car accident.
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