Orlando police capture suspected killer Markeith Loyd, ending massive manhunt

The guns Loyd came out of the home carrying. (Source: Orlando Police on Twitter)
The guns Loyd came out of the home carrying. (Source: Orlando Police on Twitter)

ORLANDO, Fla.(WESH)  — After more than a month on the run, Markeith Loyd, the man accused of fatally shooting his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer, has been captured.

Authorities had been searching for Loyd, 41, in connection with the death of Sade Dixon, 24, and Orlando police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, who investigators said he fatally shot outside of the Walmart on Princeton Street on Jan. 9.

According to authorities, Loyd was located around 7 p.m. in an abandoned house on Lescot Lane in Carver Shores. Police said the house was just down the street from the home of Clayton’s mother. As of Wednesday morning, Loyd was being treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center. The hospital is on partial lockdown while he is there. He is expected to be booked into the Orange County Jail on Wednesday.

When he was captured, Loyd was wearing body armor and carrying two handguns. One of the weapons, a Glock handgun, had been modified to carry a 100-round drum of ammunition, Orlando police Chief John Mina said.

Police said they were unsure how long Loyd had been living in the home.

Mina said Loyd resisted arrest and suffered facial injuries as a result.

As a bandaged Loyd was escorted away from police headquarters he yelled “They beat me up. They beat me up.”

During a Tuesday night news conference, Mina said some officers finally let their emotions out after capturing Loyd.

“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions throughout the entire week,” he said.

Then he discussed Master Sgt. Debra Clayton saying she “risked her life for the community that she loves.”

When Loyd was arrested the handcuffs placed on him were Clayton’s, Mina said.

When asked about this move, it was revealed that at the department, it is custom to honor a fallen officer by placing the suspect connected in their death in the handcuffs that once belonged to that fallen officer.

The investigation into who might have assisted Loyd is not over. During the press conference, Mina said investigators believe Loyd had help while he was in hiding and said there could be more arrests in relation to the investigation.

But for now, the police chief said he’s “very happy no other officers, or citizens were hurt.”

Earlier in the day, before Loyd’s capture, Mina said investigators believed Loyd changed his appearance. Police released a digitally altered photo of how Loyd would look without hair and provided new details about his physical appearance.

Police also said Loyd was likely wearing a bulletproof vest when he fatally shot Clayton.

Since Clayton was killed, police have arrested a former supervisor at the fried-chicken restaurant where Loyd worked, an ex-girlfriend and his niece on charges of helping him evade capture in the weeks after Loyd’s ex-girlfriend was fatally shot. Orlando police Chief John Mina said they were not cooperative in locating him.

The crime-tip service Crimeline offered a $100,000 reward for tips that would lead to his arrest.

After Clayton was shot, many of her colleagues immediately joined the pursuit. Among them was sheriff’s Deputy First Class Norman Lewis, who died when he was thrown from his motorcycle in an accident.

Inside the home where accused cop-killer Markeith Loyd was hiding out.
Inside the abandoned home where accused cop-killer Markeith Loyd was hiding out.

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