Orlando Police Officer Dies Following Shooting; Manhunt Launched

ORLANDO, Florida (CBS NEWS) - A manhunt has been launched after a police officer was shot and killed Monday morning near an Orlando Walmart and an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy was killed in a motorcycle crash during the ensuing manhunt, officials said.

Orlando Master Sgt. Debra Clayton approached murder suspect Markeith Loyd at about 7 a.m., according to police, and was shot multiple times. She died soon after.

Loyd fled the scene, hijacking a car, and firing at least two shots at a pursuing police vehicle. He then abandoned the first car he hijacked and stole another, according to police. 

It is not clear exactly when the deputy crashed and officials have not released his name. Officers continue to search for Loyd, who is considered armed and dangerous.

olice are searching for Markeith Loyd, 41, who was spotted Monday morning fleeing in a vehicle from the Walmart near Princeton Avenue and John Young Parkway, where the Orlando officer was shot, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said. In a tweet, police identified the slain officer as Master Sgt. Debra Clayton.

The department said Clayton, a 17-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department, always had a smile and a high five for every child she came across and will be “missed beyond words.”

CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG reports Loyd is also wanted  in connection with the slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Local news radio producer Laurel Lee said witnesses described the officer getting shot multiple times.

WKMG reports traffic near the Walmart has been brought to a standstill as police investigate. Motorists are being advised to avoid the area altogether.

As the manhunt continues, 13 local schools were placed on lockdown. 

Law enforcement agencies in central Florida sent condolences to the Orlando Police Department after the shooting.  

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