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Manhunt underway in Orlando after officer is shot, killed

A man wanted for killing his former girlfriend fatally shot an Orlando, Florida, police officer on Monday, authorities said, prompting a manhunt and a reward of up to $60,000.

The suspect was identified as Markieth Loyd, 41, who was considered armed and dangerous.

An Orange County sheriff’s deputy in the manhunt for Loyd was killed in a collision between his motorcycle and a vehicle.

“We are bringing this dirt bag to justice,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said of Loyd at a news conference.

 

Authorities said the slain officer, Master Sergeant Debra Clayton, was shot while responding to a sighting of the suspect.

Loyd fled the shooting scene outside a Walmart in a car and fired at a deputy who tried to the stop him, authorities said. The deputy was unharmed.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared a day of mourning after the officers’ deaths.

Authorities have been trying to capture Loyd in connection with the December murder of a pregnant woman, the Orange County Sheriff’s office said.

According to online jail record, Loyd also had been booked in October in Orange County on charges including burglary, attempted carjacking and violation of a pretrial release.

Clayton, a 17-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department, died at a hospital, the department said. Several photos posted on social media showed Clayton at community events, working to improve relations between police and residents.

 

“The Orlando Police Department family is heartbroken today,” the department said on its Twitter feed, which also showed a video of officers escorting a U.S. flag-draped gurney. “One of our own was taken in the line of duty. There are no words.”

Orange County Public Schools said in a tweet 17 schools had been placed on lockdown, adding: “All students & staff are safe.”

Dyer said the deaths of Clayton and the deputy, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, will be felt throughout the city.

“On this sad day, I ask that our community stands united in support of the families of the fallen officer and deputy,” he said in a statement.

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