100'S of Officers Searching for Police Murder Suspect.
ORLANDO, Fla. —
Authorities have increased the reward to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the slaying of an Orlando police sergeant.
Orlando police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, 42, was shot by Markeith Loyd, 41, after she spotted him outside the Walmart on Princeton Street around 7:15 a.m. Monday, police Chief John Mina said.
Loyd has managed to elude authorities since the shooting, despite hundreds of Central Florida law enforcement agents joining the search.
After shooting Clayton, authorities said Loyd fled toward the Pine Hills neighborhood, where he fired shots at a deputy’s cruiser and carjacked a vehicle.
Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Norman Lewis, an 11-year veteran, was killed in a crash as authorities gave pursuit. Mina said Loyd could face charges of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
"We will track him down to the ends of the earth," Mina said during a news conference Monday afternoon."
Clayton was married with a college-age son. Her colleagues described her as an officer who loved to give back to the community that she called home her entire life.
Police records show that she was among the early wave of officers who responded to Pulse nightclub on June 12. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to our Orlando Police Department. Today, 2 heroes were taken from our city. We stand with you," Pulse said in a post on its official Facebook page.
Funeral services for Clayton will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Orlando on John Young Parkway.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared Monday an official day of mourning. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was "heartbroken and angered" over the loss of lives.
Lewis received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida, where he played for the Knight's football team.
Funeral services for Lewis will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Orlando. A viewing will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Demings said. A second service for Lewis will be held in his hometown at a later date.
Authorities have been searching for Loyd since Dec. 13, when they say he killed Sade Dixon, 24, a mother of two who was three months pregnant when she was fatally shot.
Police said Loyd has an extensive criminal record. He was released from federal prison on cocaine charges in 2014 and his arrest record in Orange County dates back to 1994.
During a news conference Monday Demings urged Loyd to turn himself in. The sheriff said the best thing he could tell the suspect is to surrender so the situation can be resolved peacefully.
Mina announced at a news conference on Tuesday that the reward is being raised from $60,000 to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Loyd.
Authorities also said arrest warrants are being prepared for people who may have helped Loyd elude deputies who sought to question him in the murder of Dixon.
Mina said Tuesday, in a video posted on the department's Twitter page, that teams of detectives are following all leads and hundreds of officers and deputies are searching for suspect Markeith Loyd.