Of­fi­cer fa­tally shot; man­hunt un­der­way

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - J. D. Gal­lop

An Or­lando po­lice of­fi­cer de­scribed as a “hero” was shot and killed early Mon­day morn­ing, prompt­ing a man­hunt for a sus­pect al­ready wanted on charges he fa­tally shot his preg­nant ex- girl­friend last month, au­thor­i­ties re­ported. Hours later, an­other of­fi­cer was killed in an un­re­lated traf­fic crash as a search got un­der­way for the Or­lando of­fi­cer’s sus­pected killer, au­thor­i­ties said.

Or­lando po­lice iden­ti­fied the of­fi­cer shot as Master Sgt. De­bra Clay­ton, a mother of two and a 17- year vet­eran of the Or­lando Po­lice Depart­ment.

“She gave her life pro­tect­ing the com­mu­nity she loved. She will be deeply missed,” said Or­lando Po­lice Chief John Mina in an emo­tional news con­fer­ence broad­cast na­tion­ally. “We have a lot of re­sources try­ing to catch this sus­pect. He will be brought to jus­tice.”

Po­lice are search­ing for Markeith Loyd, 41, who was spot­ted Mon­day morn­ing in Or­lando flee­ing in a ve­hi­cle from a Wal­mart where the Or­lando of­fi­cer was shot, the Orange County Sheriff’s Of­fice said. A re­ward of up to $ 60,000 is be­ing of­fered for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to his ar­rest.

Loyd was al­ready be­ing sought in con­nec­tion with the shoot­ing death of 24- year- old Sade Dixon, a mother of two, at her west Orange County home in De­cem­ber. Her brother also was shot and wounded in that in­ci­dent, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

Clay­ton’s death came as the na­tion marked the an­nual Law En­force­ment Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day. Across cen­tral Florida, trib­utes poured in on so­cial me­dia for Clay­ton and the Orange County sheriff’s deputy who was killed in the traf­fic ac­ci­dent. The deputy was not iden­ti­fied. In­ves­ti­ga­tors in that case were work­ing to con­tact his rel­a­tives.

Po­lice have not de­tailed the cir­cum­stances lead­ing up to Clay­ton’s shoot­ing death. How­ever, they said that ear­lier, an uniden­ti­fied deputy saw Loyd in a ve­hi­cle. Loyd pulled into a nearby apart­ment com­plex and shot at the deputy, strik­ing his un­marked SUV twice, of­fi­cials said, ac­cord­ing to WKMG- TV. The deputy was not in­jured.


Of­fi­cer De­bra Clay­ton, a 17- year vet­eran of the Or­lando Po­lice Depart­ment, was shot and killed Mon­day morn­ing. A man­hunt for Markeith Loyd is un­der­way.



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