Authorities in Orlando are searching for a suspect they say shot and killed one of their own.
Early Monday morning, shoppers in a Walmart located in Pine Hills, situated just West of Orlando, alerted Officer Debra Clayton of a known murder suspect standing in the check out line.
Officer Clayton was outside loading items in her car, when suspect Markeith Loyd, 41, exited the store. Loyd is wanted in connection to the December 2016 murder of his pregnant girlfriend where he was seen fleeing the scene according to Orange County Sentinel reports.
Eyewitnesses stated that they heard the officer call for the suspect to stop when they saw him fire several shots at the officer, sending her to the ground. The suspect then fled the scene.
Orlando police escorted the ambulance to a nearby Hospital where Officer Clayton was pronounced dead. A tweet from Orlando Police shows a flag-draped casket carrying the body of the fallen officer.
The Orlando Police Department family is heartbroken today. One of our own was taken in the line of duty. There are no words. pic.twitter.com/M48o1nnr4h
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) January 9, 2017
Police Chief John Mina stated, “Debra Clayton is a hero, and she gave her life to protect the community she loves.” Clayton was a mother of 2 and a 17-year veteran with the Orlando Police Department.
The manhunt continues while schools in the area have been placed on lock down.