Three people are in police custody, charged with being accessories to Markeith Loyd, wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of two people, including Orlando Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. The suspect remains the subject of a police manhunt, now in its fifth day.
On Friday, January 13, federal, state and local law enforcement expanded their search area for Loyd to include Haines City, Florida, where the suspect is believed to have some family members living, located about 40 miles southwest of Orlando where the manhunt began.
Haines City police advised residents that the fugitive, known to be armed and considered extremely dangerous, may be seeking refuge in the area. Authorities have cautioned that anyone who spots Loyd should not approach him but call 911. Anyone having information as to Loyd’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the Haines City police at (863)421-3636, extension 2268 or Crime Stoppers at (800)423-8477.
Crimeline, a crime-tip service, is offering a $100,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest of Loyd, who police believe is wearing body armor. Tipsters have been reminded that they can call anonymously and still be eligible to receive the reward. About 500 tips have been received since the manhunt began on Monday, with Crimeline’s executive director, Barb Bergin, characterizing those tips and calls as valuable to the apprehension of the fugitive.
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Orlando Police Chief John Mina warned people earlier in the week that anyone who is aiding or abetting Loyd, wanted since December 13, 2016, in connection with the shooting death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and shooting injuries to her brother, will be arrested and brought to justice themselves. The arrests of Zarghee Mayan, Loyd’s former supervisor; Loyd’s niece, Lakensha Smith-Loyd; and JameisSlaughter, a former girlfriend of the fugitive, for aiding the suspect after the December shootings bear out Mina’s words.
On January 9, Orlando Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton approached Loyd in a Pine Hills Walmart parking lot when the suspect is reported to have begun shooting at the officer and continued to do so even after she was lying on the ground. Clayton subsequently died from her injuries. Another officer, sheriff’s deputy Norman Lewis who responded to the call for assistance in apprehending the fleeing Loyd, was fatally wounded when he was thrown from the motorcycle he was driving was in a collision with another vehicle.
When authorities recovered clothing Markeith Loyd was wearing at the time of his encounter, they found evidence that Clayton had returned fire on Loyd, but that body armor prevented injury to him from those shots.
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