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Police Capture Markeith Loyd In Abandoned House, Ending Week Long Man Hunt

OPDShootingSuspect0109171_0.jpg
Orlando Police Department
Shooting suspect Markeith Loyd

The manhunt that had Orlando on edge for more than a week ended Tuesday night as police arrested Markeith Loyd in an abandoned house.

Loyd was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Orlando police officer Debra Clayton.

Police Chief John Mina said Loyd was wearing body armor and had two hand guns, including one with a 100-round capacity magazine, when he was caught in Orlando’s Carver Shores neighborhood.

Officers put Loyd in the late Clayton’s handcuffs.

“Debra Clayton risked her life for the community she loves so dearly, and to put her handcuffs on the bad guy that she was trying to catch when she was killed, is just significant, it’s meaningful,” said Mina.

He said Loyd was captured right around the corner from Clayton’s mother’s house.

The reward for information about Loyd had climbed to $125,000, but Mina said it wasn’t an anonymous tip that led to his arrest but great police work.

He said officers working the case were “basically living in their vehicles,” for the last week,“to try to do everything they could to bring justice for the Dixon family and the Clayton family.”

“So we’re very excited a cop killer, someone who is also wanted for the murder of Sade Dixon is off the streets, the community is safer,” Mina said.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Loyd’s arrest was “bittersweet,” coming off a weekend in which the sheriff’s office buried Deputy Norman Lewis, who died in a traffic accident during the search for Loyd.

Demings said Loyd’s capture brings relief to the entire community.

“They will sleep better knowing tonight, that I’m going to describe this individual as a maniac, if you will, is off the streets of our community.”

Demings said Loyd faces two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of his former girlfriend Sade Dixon and her unborn child last December.

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