Orlando Police said they have captured the fugitive accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and the sergeant shot while attempting to bring him into custody.
“We’ve got him!,” the department’s Twitter page posted Tuesday, more than a week after Markeith Loyd allegedly killed Sgt. Debra Clayton at a local Walmart.
Someone had told Clayton that a fellow shopper matched the description of Loyd, who had already been on the run for weeks after the death of his girlfriend Sade Dixon in December.
Police said that the fugitive opened fire after being confronted in the parking lot by the officer, who died at a local hospital.
The manhunt for Loyd, 41, also killed Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis, a motorcycle officer who died in a car crash.
Rewards for information leading to Loyd’s capture escalated to $125,000 by Tuesday, and police said that they had received hundreds of tips.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina posted said that Loyd was captured by a SWAT team Tuesday evening and placed in Clayton’s handcuffs.
He faces two charges of murder, as well as an attempted murder charge for allegedly wounding Dixon’s brother.
A video posted on Twitter by a WKMG reporter showed Loyd with a swollen and cut face being escorted by police officers as he says “They beat me up.”
Mina said at a press conference that Loyd had received minor “facial injuries” after briefly resisting arrest, and that he had also attempted to flee at one point.
After the media briefing, Loyd, flanked by at least a dozen officers, was escorted out of police headquarters in a white jumpsuit with bandages on his swelling face.
Unlike before, he said nothing as reporters shouted out questions and police put him in the back of a cruiser. He was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital for medial treatment
It was not immediately clear Tuesday evening what finally led to Loyd ending up in custody.
The police chief said that Loyd was arrested based off of “police work,” rather than a tip from someone looking to collect the reward.
He said that the fugitive was found in an abandoned house near Clayton’s mother’s home, along with his body armor, two handguns and a drum that can hold 100 bullets.
Last week Loyd’s former coworker Zarghee Mayan told investigators said that Loyd was wearing a bulletproof vest when he saw him shortly after the girlfriend’s killing.
Mayan, Loyd’s ex-girlfriend and his niece were all arrested for allegedly helping him since the death of Dixon.
Mina said that he expects more arrests as investigators find those who helped Loyd hide.
Clayton, who was one of the first responders at the Pulse nightclub shooting, and Lewis were remembered at separate funeral ceremonies this weekend.
PastorDerrick McRae, who grew up with Clayton, told the Daily News last week that he thought she was “too nice to be a police officer” when she joined the force, but she said that she wanted to make a change in her community.
In a statement to WKMG-TV, a member of Clayton’s family thanked law enforcement for capturing Loyd, adding that he “is confident that justice will be served.”
With NICOLE HENSLEY