Police Capture Man Who Allegedly Killed Orlando Cop in Abandoned Home

PHOTO: Markeith Loyd, wanted in connection with the shooting death of an Orlando police officer, is shown in this undated booking photo in Orlando, Florida released Jan. 9, 2017. PlayCourtesy Orlando Police Department/Handout via Reuters
WATCH Police Capture Man Who Allegedly Killed Orlando Cop in Abandoned Home

Orlando police say that they have caught alleged cop killer Markeith Loyd, who was also wanted for killing a pregnant woman.

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Around 7 p.m. Tuesday, authorities located Loyd in an abandoned home, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said during a press conference. Police surrounded the home, but Loyd tried to escape through the back of the home before the SWAT teams arrived, Mina said.

Loyd then ran back inside the home and left again through the front door, wearing body armor and carrying two handguns, including a Glock that contained a magazine with the capacity for 100 rounds of ammunition, Mina said. Loyd threw the guns to the ground and resisted arrest when police officers tried to detain him.

He suffered minor injuries in the scuffle and was treated by firefighters, Mina said.

On Dec. 9, Orlando Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was on duty by herself near a Walmart around 7 a.m. when a citizen approached her, telling her that a murder suspect was nearby, according to police.

Clayton found Loyd and chased him, police said. He allegedly opened fire after Clayton told him to stop running. He was already wanted before he shot and killed Clayton for allegedly killing a pregnant woman.

Clayton, a wife and mother, was shot multiple times, police said. She was wearing body armor at the time, but she later died. A funeral for the slain officer was held over the weekend.

Loyd was placed in Clayton's handcuffs when he was caught, as part of a "tradition" in law enforcement that goes back "many, many years," Mina said.

Orange County records show Loyd was booked on charges of first-degree murder with a firearm, unlawful killing of an unborn child, attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and two counts aggravated assault with a firearm.

One of the first people Mina said he called after Loyd was caught was Clayton's husband, Seth Clayton, who expressed both relief and concern that Loyd was captured just around the corner from the home of Clayton's mother, Mina said.

Authorities launched a massive manhunt last week in response to Clayton's death. Law enforcement was able to locate Loyd by "tireless" and "great police work," rather than anonymous tips, Mina said. Several agencies, including the Orlando Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Marshals, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security and the FBI participated in the hunt for Loyd. Last week, the reward for information leading to Loyd’s capture was raised to $125,000.

"I was extremely happy that this dangerous person was off the streets," Mina said when asked by a reporter why he was seen smiling in the video of Loyd being led into the police station.

More arrests are pending for anyone who helped Loyd evade police, Mina said. The investigation has revealed that Loyd received help and the home that he was found in has ties to some of his associates, Mina said. Police do not know how long Loyd was in the home before he was caught, the police chief said.

An investigation of the arresting officer's use of force will be launched, per standard procedure, Mina said.

In a statement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Loyd will be "held to the fullest extent of the law."

"It is sickening that anyone would commit senseless violence against our brave first responders," Scott said. "Ann and I continue to pray for the families of the fallen heroes and hope today's news provides some relief.”