By The Statesman
Law enforcement has raised the reward to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Markeith Loyd.
A massive manhunt for Loyd continued Tuesday, a day after an Orlando police master sergeant was shot and killed. Loyd, 41, is considered armed and dangerous.
“Any time a person guns down a law enforcement officer in broad daylight, we are going to use all resources available,“ Orlando police Chief John Mina said.
Authorities said they have received many tips about Loyd’s whereabouts. He is the prime suspect in the shooting death Monday of Orlando police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton outside a Pine Hills-area Walmart.
Clayton, 42, died Monday morning at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Clayton’s funeral will be held at the First Baptist Orlando at 3000 S John Young Parkway at 2 p.m. Saturday.
(Authorities raised the reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the fatal shooting of an Orlando police sergeant to $100,000 on the second day of a massive manhunt. Courtesy of Wochit News and YouTube)
“There are hundreds of officers and deputies working around the clock. There are teams of detectives assigned just to following up leads to catch Markeith Loyd. We will not stop until we find him,” said Mina.
“We are very, very optimistic that those leads will assist us today in locating (Loyd),” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said. “So we’ll just have to see how that works out.”
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared Monday a day of mourning in memory of Clayton and senior Orange County Sheriff’s Office motorcycle Deputy Norm Lewis, who died in a crash while searching for Loyd.
“As in the past, I’d like to call on our entire community to stand united in support of all of the families of both the deceased and the injured. But as the sheriff and the chief have done, I am also calling on the community to provide any information that will lead to the capture of this violent criminal,” said Dyer.
Demings promised that justice would be served in Clayton and Lewis’ deaths.
“We don’t go home,” he said. “We work 24/7, regardless of the circumstances.”
Demings urged Loyd to turn himself in and warned the community to be vigilant.
Dozens of police vehicles had descended Monday on the area around the intersection of Pine Hills Road and North Lane, just south of Royal Oaks and Pineview apartments.
“We have searched dozens of apartments and residences in an effort to find the suspect and bring him in. We have deployed numerous officers and detectives who specialize in looking for suspects who try and avoid capture. We are using every resource possible to find him and arrest him,” Mina said.
Mina said law enforcement believes that Loyd has been receiving help to stay hidden from officers.
“I am confident we will find him. I can tell you that it doesn’t matter where he is, we will track him down to the ends of the earth. Trust me on that,“ Mina said.
Demings warned anyone who is helping Loyd, that they should “stand ready to be charged yourself.”
Aside from the legal consequences, individuals who help Loyd are putting themselves in serious danger, Demings said.
“They are imperiling themselves, because he’s a dangerous individual, and we certainly want to be able to peacefully take him into custody, but if we’re not able to do that, you don’t want to be anywhere around that,” he said.
Clayton was outside the Walmart when she was approached by a shopper.
“The customer walked up to her and said that someone they were looking for, wanted, was in the store in the line to check out,” a witness said said.
“She went in there, I guess, to confront him. As she was going back to Walmart, he was coming out, and he shot her.”
An Orange County sheriff’s deputy spotted Loyd at the intersection of North Lane and Pine Hills Drive and followed him to a nearby apartment complex, officials said.
The man shot at the deputy, hitting his unmarked SUV twice, and then carjacked a second vehicle and continued to flee, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
He abandoned the vehicle near the intersection of Rosemont Avenue and Cinderlane Parkway and ran, deputies said.
“We were certainly sad yesterday,” Demings said Tuesday.
“That was probably one of the saddest moments that most of us will ever experience in our careers. But by the same token, because one of our loved ones was taken away so quickly yesterday, it helps to motivate us to get out today (and) to do our jobs.”
(Reuters reports that Hundreds of law enforcement officers searched for a second day on Tuesday for Markeith Loyd, courtesy of Wochit News and YouTube)
Authorities said Loyd was also wanted in connection with the shooting death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. He has been on the run since Dec. 13, when Dixon, 24, was shot to death outside her home in the 6000 block of Long Peak Drive.
Dixon’s brother, Ronald Steward, was also shot and critically injured when he tried to come to her aid, investigators said.