Police and Law Enforcement

Man wanted in shooting death of Orlando police officer in custody

Officer gunned down outside Walmart in Orlando

 

The man accused of killing an Orlando police officer and his pregnant ex-girlfriend was caught late Tuesday hiding out in an abandoned home wearing body armor and armed with two handguns, officials said.

Authorities had been searching for Markeith Loyd since Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton was gunned down Jan. 9 in the parking lot of an Orlando Walmart.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Loyd, 41, was found in an abandoned home around 7 p.m. ET on Lescot Lane in Orlando "right around the corner" from Clayton's mother's house. 

He first tried to escape out the rear of the house but was confronted by officers out back, according to Mina.

Loyd then ran back into the house, came out the front door wearing body armor and armed with two handguns, including one with a 100-round magazine on it, when he was met by additional officers. He then threw the handguns to the ground and was taken into custody by police out front, but did "resist arrest" and sustained "minor" facial injuries, Mina said. 

"I'm very happy no officers or citizens were hurt in his arrest," Minda told reporters. "I'm just happy he's in custody." 

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the entire Orlando community is going to "breathe a sigh of relief" following Loyd's capture. 

"This maniac is off the streets of our community," Demings said late Tuesday. 

The 41-year-old will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder, in addition to two counts of aggravated assault of a firearm, according to Demings. 

Mina said that Loyd "was captured by great police work," not an anonymous tip. He added that officers used Clayton's handcuffs to secure Loyd. 

Clayton had been tipped off that Loyd was in the area while she was at the store. She was shot when she approached Loyd, who then fled. As the manhunt intensified that day of the shooting, a motorcycle crash killed Sheriff's Deputy First Class Norman Lewis.

Before the Jan. 9 shooting, authorities had been looking for Loyd for questioning in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend last month.

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Loyd appeared in an ominous Facebook Live video before the shootings -- as his then-girlfriend joked about killing police and herself, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

The Nov. 4 video showed Markeith Loyd in a car at a traffic stop with his pregnant girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

"Go ahead and kill him, babe, so we can get home faster," she was heard saying, referring to the officer. Later, as Loyd sped down the road, she shouted, "You not about to kill me and the baby."

Just over a month later, police said Loyd did indeed kill the girlfriend, reportedly after she broke up with him.

Last week, cops arrested three people accused of helping Loyd, 41, after the manhunt began, Fox 35 reported.

Loyd's niece, Lakensha Smith-Loyd, was arrested Wednesday on an accessory charge Wednesday. Later the same day, police arrested an ex-girlfriend of Loyd's: Jameis Slaughter, who also faces a charge of accessory, according to online jail records.

And a day earlier, Zarghee Mayan, the fugitive's supervisor at a fried chicken restaurant, was arrested on the same charge.

Hundreds of officers and deputies have been searching for Loyd, and a $100,000 reward was being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

The U.S. Marshals Service had added Loyd to its list of most wanted fugitives Tuesday and added $25,000 to the reward offer.

Click for more from FOX35Orlando.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.