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Reward Rises, Funerals Planned For Fallen Officers

Shooting suspect Markeith Loyd/Photo: Orlando Police Department

Police are urging anyone with information on the suspect Markeith Loyd to call 1-800-423-TIPS. Do not approach the suspect, authorities say he is armed and dangerous. 

The reward for information leading to the capture of Markeith Loyd is now up to $100,000. Orlando Police say Loyd shot and killed Master Sgt. Debra Clayton as she tried to make contact with him outside a Walmart.

Loyd is wanted in connection with the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Orange County Sheriff’s deputy Norman Lewis died in a traffic accident during the search for Lloyd.

Crimeline executive director Barb Bergin  said they’ve received more than 300 calls since the shooting.

“It’s going to take one call,” said Bergin.

“I don’t know where that call’s at, I don’t know when it’s coming. I would tell you, if you’re listening or watching right now, you need to pick the phone up because no one else, whether it be law enforcement, community members, family, need to be hurt by this man. So we need to capture him,” said Bergin.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said he’s working on getting arrest warrants for people who are believed to have helped Loyd.

Hundreds of police and sheriff’s deputies continue to search for Markeith Loyd.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said the manhunt also involves the FBI, US marshals and other agencies.

“Any time a person guns down a law enforcement officer in broad daylight the way Markeith Loyd did, we’re going to use all the resources possible because we know just how dangerous that person is,” said Mina.

Mina said he would have reacted the same way Sergeant Debra Clayton did in her encounter with Loyd.

He said officers are trained to get eyes on a suspect and wait for back up if possible.

“This whole incident happened within seconds. Within seconds,” said Mina.

“Back up was there within 28 seconds from the time she called out for help. So I think she’s a hero, she did a phenomenal job. Like I said, I wouldn’t have done anything differently myself.” 

Remembering The Fallen

A memorial is growing outside the Walmart where Officer Clayton was shot. There are flowers, candles, and stuffed animals. Larry Parzygnat is an officer with the Welaka Police Department. He came to place his department badge near a white cross.

“That’s a very dangerous job, and any moment it could be over – you just don’t know,” said Parzygnat.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:00pm at the West Princeton Walmart in northwest Orlando.

Debra Clayton’s funeral is scheduled for 2:00pm Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Orlando. Deputy Norman Lewis’s funeral is scheduled for 11:00am Friday at the First Baptist Church in Orlando.

The sign of the Pulse nightclub will light up in blue to honor Clayton and Lewis.

 


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »

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