Accused Orlando Killer Allegedly Stood Over Wounded Officer and Repeatedly Fired
Markeith Loyd has not entered a plea for the officer's alleged killing.
— -- A store's cameras allegedly show accused killer Markeith Loyd standing over Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton as she was wounded and lying on her back, repeatedly firing and mortally wounding her, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed today.
The warrant described the alleged shooting that occurred around 7:15 a.m. on Jan. 9, while Clayton was on duty and at a Walmart. A witness, not identified in the warrant, approached Clayton and told her Loyd, who was wanted for the Dec. 13 murder of his ex-girlfriend, was in the store, according to the warrant.
Clayton requested backup and while another patrol car was on its way, announced on the police radio that she was in "foot pursuit," after which the sounds of gunshots were heard.
Walmart camera footage shows the suspect running between two concrete pillars outside the store as Clayton pursued him, the warrant said. As the suspect took cover behind one pillar, Clayton ran around the pillar and saw the suspect pointing a gun at her. Clayton drew her gun and changed direction, and the suspect fired three times, hitting her once in the hip. Clayton stumbled and fell to the ground, but rolled onto her back and pointed her gun at the suspect approaching her.
"The suspect advances toward her with his right arm outstretched and repeatedly firing his gun" at her as she was on her back, the warrant said. Clayton fired back at the suspect seven times as he stood over her firing, the warrant says, adding that the suspect then ran around her with his gun pointing at her head, firing several more shots quickly before running to a vehicle and leaving the area.
The warrant said the entire exchange of gunfire lasted about six seconds. The medical examiner determined that Clayton died from a gunshot wound to her neck.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said that after Loyd first shot Clayton, he had a clear and unobstructed path to his car but chose instead to run over to where Clayton was. Mina said Clayton was still alive when, he said, Loyd stood "over her defenseless body" and fired multiple shots at her, killing her.
Clayton was a police master sergeant when she was killed. She was promoted to lieutenant on the day of her funeral, Orlando police said.
Loyd was combative from the start in today's court appearance for Clayton's alleged murder. He interrupted the judge as she tried to read his charges and refused to answer questions.
Loyd -- appearing with a bandage over his left eye, his hands cuffed and officers holding each of his arms -- said to Judge Jeanette Dejuras Bigney in the state's Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Orlando, "My name is Markeith Loyd, who are you? Lady in the black dress, who are you?"
He appeared without legal representation. When asked whether he wants a public defender, he again asked for the judge's name. "State your name for the record," he said.
In connection with Clayton's death, Loyd was charged with first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, carjacking with a firearm, aggravated assault and wearing a bulletproof vest.
The judge today held him on no bond. Loyd did not enter a plea.
Loyd was caught by police Tuesday after a nine-day manhunt; he was wanted for allegedly killing Clayton and for allegedly killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December.
When Loyd appeared in court Thursday in connection with Dixon's death, he said to the judge, "Y'all making up s---, like I just went in there and shot this girl, endangering my family ... Y'all portray this s--- to the news people like I just went in there and shot this girl."
While leaving the courtroom Thursday, Loyd said to Judge Bigney, "F--- you."
In connection with Dixon's death, Loyd was charged with one count of first-degree murder with a firearm, one count of unlawful killing of an unborn child, one count of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. The judge ordered him held without bond. Loyd did not enter a plea.
The judge said Thursday that Loyd would have a hearing in one week to determine counsel for him in the case over Dixon's death.
Orlando police on Thursday released video of Loyd's capture. In the video -- which was shot from a police chopper above the scene -- Loyd is seen crawling away from a house and toward officers by the roadway. After he stopped crawling, the officers approached him while he lay prone in the street. At least one officer then appeared to kick Loyd in the head. At that point, the chopper camera panned away.
Mina called the camera pulling away "concerning" and said the apparent use of force will be investigated.
Mina said Loyd suffered a fractured left orbital bone and damage to his eye. He was hospitalized until late Wednesday.
When asked at a press conference if kicking the suspect was necessary, Mina said, "The officers were very concerned about what was underneath him. After they handcuffed him and searched him, pulled off his body armor, he had a large bag of ammunition."
Mina called Loyd a "cold-blooded, ruthless killer," and said Loyd's "long and violent history" will be factored into the use-of-force investigation. Mina said that when reviewing the use of force, officers are judged regarding the "totality of circumstances" and that officials will try to determine what an objectively reasonable officer would have done in light of those circumstances.
Officers involved in the arrest are still on full duty, Mina said.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, in an interview after he was caught, Loyd said of the Dixon shooting that he and Dixon were in a tussle when Dixon's brother attacked him. Loyd said Dixon also had a gun.
When asked about Clayton's murder, Loyd said, "she pulled her gun out first," according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Loyd said the shooting might not have happened if Clayton had "waited for backup," according to the warrant.
Rounds from one of the weapons recovered with Loyd on Tuesday matched rounds from the scenes of Dixon's shooting and Clayton's shooting, according to the warrant.
Meanwhile, an Orlando Police Department spokesperson said today that it appears someone vandalized Clayton's police vehicle Thursday night or early this morning.
Words were scrawled in blue across parts of the parked car, which has been sitting strewn with flowers and flags as a memorial to the fallen officer.
The police department said it was hard to decipher what the words say.
The incident is being investigated, the police said.
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