(Adds name of deputy killed in manhunt)
By Jon Herskovitz
Jan 9 A man wanted for killing his former
girlfriend fatally shot an Orlando, Florida, police officer on
Monday, authorities said, prompting a manhunt and a reward of up
Helicopters buzzed the skies while scores of police shut
streets and went door to door in their search for the suspect,
identified as Markeith Loyd, 41. He was considered armed and
An Orange County sheriff's deputy in the manhunt for Loyd
was killed in a collision between his motorcycle and a van,
police said. The driver of the van was a 78-year-old man,
according to local TV station News 6.
"We are bringing this dirt bag to justice," Orlando Police
Chief John Mina said of Loyd at a news conference, adding that
federal agents had joined the search.
"We will track him down to the ends of the earth," he told a
later news conference.
Authorities said the slain officer, Master Sergeant Debra
Clayton, was shot while responding to a sighting of the suspect
at a local Walmart. Loyd fired at her and she returned fire,
Mina said, adding that he did not believe Loyd was hit.
Loyd fled the shooting scene outside the store in a car and
fired at a deputy who tried to the stop him, authorities said.
The deputy was unharmed.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared a day of mourning after
the officers' deaths.
Authorities have been trying to capture Loyd in connection
with the December murder of a pregnant woman who was once his
girlfriend, the Orange County Sheriff's office said.
Clayton, a decorated 17-year veteran of the Orlando Police
Department, died at a hospital, the department said. Photos
posted on social media showed her at community events, working
to improve relations between police and residents.
"The Orlando Police Department family is heartbroken today,"
the department said on Twitter, showing a video of officers
escorting a U.S. flag-draped gurney.
Local media said Clayton was one of the first officers to
respond to the Pulse gay nightclub massacre in Orlando last
June, the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history,
where a gunman killed 49 people.
Deputy First Class Norman Lewis, an 11-year-veteran, was
killed in the manhunt for Loyd, the Orange County Sheriff's
office said. Lewis, 35, once played football for the University
of Central Florida. it said.
"Norm will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, gentle giant,"
it said on its Facebook page.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Dan Grebler and Andrew