Fugitive Wanted in Fatal Shooting of Orlando Officer Captured | NBC Southern California
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Fugitive Wanted in Fatal Shooting of Orlando Officer Captured

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    The suspect on the run after the shooting death of an Orlando police sergeant was captured after a week-long manhunt. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017)

    The man wanted in the fatal shootings of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police sergeant has been captured, authorities said Tuesday night.

    The Orlando Police Department tweeted Tuesday that 41-year-old Markeith Loyd was in custody.

    Loyd has been the focus of a weeklong manhunt after he fatally shot Master Sgt. Debra Clayton in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

    Orlando Police Chief John Mina tweeted that Loyd was wearing Clayton's handcuffs. Police said using the handcuffs during Loyd's arrest was a department tradition.

    At a news conference late Tuesday, officials said Loyd was found at an abandoned home near Clayton's mother's home. The suspect tried to run from officers as they zeroed in on him, police said. Offiicals added that Loyd was discovered wearing body armor and carrying two handguns. Loyd sustained injuries to the face as he resisted arrest, police said. 

     

    Mina denied rumors that the arrest was the result of an anonymous tip, saying that Loyd was captured by the tireless efforts of law enforcement.
    "They've basically been living in their vehicles, using the bathroom in their vehicles, to try and do everything they could to bring justice for the Dixon family and for the Clayton family," Mina said.
    Before the officer's shooting, authorities had been looking for Loyd for questioning in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. Clayton had been tipped off that he was in the area while she was at the store and was shot when she approached Loyd, who then fled.
    Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at the news conference that the arrest is bittersweet, noting that in addition to Clayton, a deputy in his agency, Norman Lewis, died in a traffic crash during the manhunt for Loyd.
    "I believe that our entire community is going to breathe a sigh of relief at this point,'' Demings said. "They will sleep better knowing tonight that... this maniac is off the streets."
    Demings said Loyd would be charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Dixon's death last month. Loyd will also face one count of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm related to the shooting of Dixon's brother and threats against other relatives.
     

     

    Mina denied rumors that the arrest was the result of an anonymous tip, saying that Loyd was captured by the tireless efforts of law enforcement. "They've basically been living in their vehicles, using the bathroom in their vehicles, to try and do everything they could to bring justice for the Dixon family and for the Clayton family," Mina said.

    Before the officer's shooting, authorities had been looking for Loyd for questioning in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. Clayton had been tipped off that he was in the area while she was at the store and was shot when she approached Loyd, who then fled.

    Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at the news conference that the arrest is bittersweet, noting that in addition to Clayton, a deputy in his agency, Norman Lewis, died in a traffic crash during the manhunt for Loyd. "I believe that our entire community is going to breathe a sigh of relief at this point,'' Demings said. "They will sleep better knowing tonight that... this maniac is off the streets."

    Demings said Loyd would be charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Dixon's death last month. Loyd will also face one count of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm related to the shooting of Dixon's brother and threats against other relatives. 

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott released a statement thanking law enforcement officials for their "unrelenting focus to find" Loyd. Scott said the suspect will "now be held to the fullest extent of the law". 

    The news came hours after the U.S. Marshals Service added him to its list of 15 most wanted fugitives.

    The agency also added $25,000 to a $100,000 reward already being offered by a local crime tip hotline for any information leading to Loyd's arrest.

    Police also said earlier Tuesday that Loyd may have shaved his head. They posted a digitally altered photo of what he might look like without hair.