ORLANDO, Fla. – A massive manhunt was underway Monday in the popular tourist destination of Orlando as authorities searched for a man accused of shooting and killing a police officer.
The Orlando Police Department announced the death of Master Sgt. Debra Clayton on its official Twitter account Monday morning. A short time later, authorities said at a press conference that an Orange County deputy was killed in a vehicle accident while searching for the suspect in Clayton’s killing.
The suspect has been identified as Markeith Loyd, 41, in an area of northwest metro Orlando. Authorities said Loyd previously was a suspect in the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend last December.
The shooting occurred near a Walmart store in Orlando earlier Monday.
“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Police Chief John Mina said at a press conference. “He will be brought to justice.”
Mina lauded Clayton, who was married and had two children, as a “committed” officer and “a hero” who gave her life to the community she loves.
Police released a video of Clayton’s body being taken out of the hospital to a waiting van in a flag-covered stretcher. A line of officers saluted as the stretcher was wheeled out.
Authorities said 17 area schools were placed in lockdown following the shooting.
Sheriff’s officials said Loyd was spotted by a deputy fleeing in the Orlando police officer’s vehicle. The suspect pulled into a nearby apartment complex and then fired at a deputy, striking the deputy’s SUV twice. The deputy wasn’t harmed, the sheriff’s office said.
Loyd then carjacked another vehicle, drove away and then abandoned the vehicle not far away, according to the sheriff’s office.
The manhunt was being conducted where he abandoned the vehicle.
Gov. Rick Scott canceled an appearance in Orlando because of the shooting.
Orange County deputies said they saw Loyd pull into a nearby apartment complex and opened fired at Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, striking her in her unmarked SUV, officials said. Clayton died from injuries at 7:40 a.m., officials said.
Loyd then carjacked a vehicle and took off, deputies said. He later abandoned the vehicle near the intersection of Rosemont and Cinderlane Parkway, where a manhunt is underway, officials said.
Authorities said Loyd should be considered armed and dangerous.
“We are asking the public to assist us with his whereabouts,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “However, we ask the public not to approach him and call 911 instead.”
Thirteen schools in the Pine Hills area are locked down because of the search, including Gateway School, Evans High School, Pine Hills Elementary School, Meadowbrook Middle School, Positive Pathways, Orange Center, Rolling Hills Elementary School, Lockhart Middle School, Lockhart Elementary School, Acceleration Academy West, Esteem Academy, Orange Virtual School, Lake Silver Elementary School,
Orange County Public Schools said all students and staff are safe.
Law enforcement agencies in Central Florida sent condolences to the Orlando Police Department after the shooting.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with are brothers and sisters at OPD,” Kissimmee police tweeted.
“Our prayers are with @OrlandoPolice, Officer shot. Follow @OrlandoPolice for full and accurate updates,” Lakeland police tweeted.
“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters at Orlando Police Department,” LCSO tweeted.
“Prayers for @OrlandoPolice as they deal with an officer who has been shot and another officer on a motorcycle involved in a crash,” Edgewood police tweeted.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in blue at the Orlando Police Dept. #ODP #orlando,” Oviedo police tweeted.
“We are praying for the @OrlandoPolice officer shot this morning. We support you through this tragedy and senseless act of violence,” Sanford police tweeted.
Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.
Source http://www.news4jax.com and YOUTUBE
Check out more contributions by Jeffery Pritchett ranging from UFO to Bigfoot to Paranormal to Prophecy
Most people who use social media have figured out that Facebook and Google are in cahoots with the government. For those who are well aware of the issues, it’s high time you switched over to Seen.life. It is a website that is similar to Facebook but without all the censorship.
Firearm friendly, you may buy sell or trade anything allowed by site TOS rules.