Orlando officer killed in shooting, deputy dies in crash during manhunt for suspect

Hundreds of law enforcement officers are searching for a fugitive after two Orlando-area cops were killed Monday morning, one shot by the murder suspect who managed to get away and a second killed in a crash while officers and deputies scrambled to find him.

By Monday evening, officers largely abandoned the apartment complex in northwest Orlando that was the focus of their search for much of the day, and suspect Markeith Loyd, 41, was still at large.

"We are going to bring this dirtbag to justice, and he's going to jail," Orlando Police chief John Mina said.

Orlando police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was shot about 7:15 a.m. by a murder suspect after someone pointed him out at a Wal-Mart and she gave chase on foot, the agency reported.

A sheriff's deputy identified as Norman Lewis, 35, was later killed in a crash with a 78-year-old driver. He had been with the sheriff's office since 2005.

The manhunt prompted the lockdown of more than a dozen schools and snarled traffic for hours.

A $60,000 reward is being offered for anyone who has information to help capture Loyd, 41, who was accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend in December.

Clayton, the first Orlando officer killed in the line of duty in a decade, was one of the first responders to Pulse nightclub in June after a mass shooting.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina called Clayton "a hero. She gave her life for the community she loves."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sent out an alert midday, describing Loyd as 6-3, 230 pounds and having last been seen on Cinderlane Parkway, a road through Rosemont, a high-crime area.

An Orlando SWAT team came and went and came back again to an apartment complex on that street.

Early on, an officer on a bullhorn called the suspect by name and told him to come out. Overhead a law enforcement helicopter circled. The squad left and returned mid-afternoon -- helicopter, too -- and at least four armored vehicles rolled into position.

“We have several hundred law enforcement officers from multiple agncies that are assisting us. .... We are reasonably certain that we have the suspect in the area,” said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

Shortly after 6 p.m., dozens of patrol cars and armored trucks left the area. A SWAT officer said they did not find Loyd.

TaQueria Jones, a Wal-Mart cashier, said Clayton checked out at her register minutes before the shooting Monday morning.

“We talked about family, we talked about God," Jones said. 

While the suspect was still at large, the cashier and others planted flowers in a spot just feet from where Clayton was killed.

“I’m going to be out here every day to straighten them up. Every day," Jones said.

Both Clayton and Lewis graduated from the University of Central Florida. Lewis' friends said being a law enforcement officer was his passion and that he loved serving others.

“We’re sad on this day for many reasons," 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."

Loyd has a long criminal history and on Nov. 30 wrote this on his Facebook page, "Goals!!!! To be on Americas most wanted."

Both OPD and the Sheriff's Office described him as armed and dangerous, and Demings asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact law enforcement immediately.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs asked Orange County residents to simply stay indoors.

"We need citizens to be diligent, we need them to be careful. ... If you don't have to be out, don't be out," she said.

Also at that morning news conference were Mina, Demings, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Gov. Rick Scott, who happened to be in town for a business event but cancelled it.

The violence started at the Walmart just before sunrise when a citizen who knows Loyd and knew he was wanted spotted him and told Clayton, a 17-year department veteran and patrol officer, Mina said.

She was on duty and wearing body armor, he said.

She called dispatch, reporting that Loyd was at the store, spotted him then there was a short chase, Mina said.

She called out, "Stop," Mina said, and he opened fire. She returned fire but did not hit him, the chief said.

Backup officers arrived 28 seconds later, but Loyd was already gone, Mina said.

The backup officers tried to save Clayton with CPR, according to the city, but she was pronounced dead at 7:40 a.m. at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

A short distance away, a captain at the Orange County Sheriff's Office who was in the area spotted Loyd near Pine Hills Road and North Lane, according to that department.

Loyd pulled into an apartment complex and fired at least once at the deputy, who was in an unmarked SUV. The bullet missed him but hit his SUV, the agency reported.

The suspect then carjacked a vehicle and fled. He abandoned that vehicle near Rosemont and Cinderlane Parkway.

That prompted the manhunt and produced two law enforcement crashes.

The fatal crash happened about 9:45 a.m. on Pine Hills Road. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Lewis was on a motorcycle traveling south when he was struck by a van turning left onto Balboa Drive.

The deputy plowed into the side of the van, was thrown from his motorcycle and killed, FHP reported.

The driver of the van that collided with the motorcycle deputy is Billie Jarrard of Clermont, FHP reported. He faced possible charges.

No one answered the phone Monday at his home. Records show he is a 78-year-old recent widower with no criminal history in Florida. Online court records in Lake County list one traffic offense, for failing to obey a traffic control device in 2000.

Ten minutes after that crash and 200 yards away but also on Pine Hills Road, another law enforcement officer, Orange County Deputy Nelson Borjas, 46, of Orlando, was involved in a crash that sent him to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the highway patrol.

Deputies had been on the lookout for Lloyd for weeks because of a murder warrant: He's accused of murdering his pregnant 24-year-old girlfriend, Sade Dixon, on Dec. 13 and wounding her 26-year-old brother, Ronald Steward. They were shot at a home on Long Peak Drive.

Loyd served 10 years in prison and five years on probation for conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine, according to federal court records.

He was sentenced in 1999 and was released from probation in 2014, according to federal records.

Shortly after Monday's shooting, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill identified Clayton as her liaison with the police department.

"Oh God!!!! Please pray for my OPD Liaison, she's been shot down in Pinehills," Hill wrote on Facebook.

The last OPD officer killed in the line of duty was Al Gordon, who was shot during a robbery Oct. 4, 2007, the agency reported.

Dyer declared Monday an official day of mourning and cancelled a City Council meeting.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said agents with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and U.S. Marshals Office were helping in the search.

At the Rosemont apartment complex surrounded by SWAT, Michael Ridenour, 40, said he heard the Sheriff's Office helicopter overhead about 7:30 a.m. and went outside to see officers with rifles telling residents to stay indoors.

"It's scary," he said. "I mean if he's willing to shoot a police officer, he's willing to shoot anybody."

Lupe Garcia and her 9-year-old son were stuck outside their home for most of the day.

Garcia walked to drop him off at school and came back to find her home surrounded in crime scene tape with dozens of officers holding long guns.

"It's scary," she said before she was let back into the complex.

After she picked her son up, they waited with dozens of others outside the complex.

Her son, Migul, said as he and his mom were waiting an Orange County deputy flagged him down and asked if he was hungry.

The deputy pulled out a chocolate protein bar and gave it to the boy.

The Orlando Sentinel's Jeff Weiner, David Harris, Steve Lemongello, Paige Wilson, Red Huber, Caitlin Dineen and Scott Maxwell contributed to this report.

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