Jan. 18–Markeith Loyd has been captured after a nine-day manhunt, the Orlando Police Department announced Tuesday.
Loyd, 41, was arrested at 7 p.m. in an abandoned house at 1157 Lescot Lane near Raleigh Street, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a press conference. When law enforcement surrounded the house, Loyd tried to escape through the back sliding-glass doors, then surrendered through the front doors.
These are Lt. Debra Clayton's handcuffs. Markeith Loyd was placed in these when he was arrested. pic.twitter.com/3TKs9nw2lu
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) January 18, 2017
Loyd was wearing body armor and had two guns in his hands when he came out of the house. Mina said Loyd threw down his guns when he saw the law enforcement surrounding him, but resisted arrest. No shots were fired.
Loyd has been wanted since Dec. 13, when investigators say he fatally shot his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, 24, and injured her brother when he rushed to help her. Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton was trying to capture him at a Wal-Mart the morning of Jan. 9 when she was slain.
Loyd faces two counts of first-degree murder with a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in Dixon and her unborn child’s deaths, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Tuesday night. Charges in Clayton’s death have not yet been announced.
Markeith Loyd was wearing body armor when he was apprehended. And had these guns in his possession. pic.twitter.com/T0AfzZibmA
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) January 18, 2017
Danny Banks, the special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Orlando, said law enforcement officers learned Tuesday afternoon that Loyd may be at the house where he was eventually captured.
They spotted him, and about two dozen officers, deputies and state and federal agents surrounded the house, Banks said. That number quickly escalated to “several dozen. The reason for that is that we know what his propensity is for escape, for escaping perimeters.”
The manhunt was coordinated out of the FDLE office in downtown Orlando, Banks said, and involved OPD, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, FDLE, the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI.
“In my now 23 years in law enforcement I don’t know that I know of a better example of a unified group, across federal, state and local law enforcement … on one mission.”
Loyd’s capture, he said, was “a very good example of teamwork.”
Mina said Loyd was captured and placed into Clayton’s own handcuffs, a “tradition in law enforcement that goes back many years.”
“To put her handcuffs on the bad guy … is meaningful to her family and to her law enforcement family,” Mina said.
Mina said he called Clayton’s husband, Seth Clayton, immediately after Loyd was taken into custody.
“He was relieved and happy, and also upset to know he was arrested right around the corner from Debra’s mother’s house,” Mina said.
Video showed Loyd, in red pants, a gray shirt and his hands cuffed behind his back, being pulled from an Sheriff’s Office vehicle. He was then escorted and pushed into Orlando Police headquarters by more than a half dozen law enforcement officers, some of them deputies in green uniforms, others in plain clothes but with masks over their faces.
Loyd exclaimed, “They beat me up! They beat me up!” to nearby cameras as law enforcement took him into the building for questioning Tuesday night.
His bloodied face appeared beaten with swollen eyes and lips as he was escorted inside. Mina flashed a wide smile to cameras as Loyd was taken in to custody.
“The injuries looked minor to me,” Mina said at the press conference. He said Loyd was getting medical attention at police headquarters.
Officials were taking Loyd from the Orlando Police headquarters to the Orange County Jail about 9:30 p.m. His face had been wrapped in white bandages.
Clayton’s sister, Nikki Anita Huey, 40, of Orlando, said, “I would really like to say, ‘Thank you, God.’ … I am relieved that he has been captured. Hats off to OPD and the Orange County police department. (sic) Those folks have been working their butts off around they clock, and they have been with the family around the clock.”
Huey said, “When I heard the news that he had been captured, I was filled with tears because … I have been praying for him to come to the light and turn himself in peacefully.”
She called Loyd “a coward” because of reports that he shot Clayton after she was on the ground but added she felt “no hate for him. I was just praying it ended peacefully.”
Huey also said, “It’s amazing that he went right back home to where he came from. He ended up in the same place where he grew up. Familiar territory.”
One of Clayton’s long-time family friends, Jack Williams, said, “I’m extremely, extremely glad that he has been captured, but honestly speaking, I wanted him to put up a fight so they’d kill him. … I will be more at peace once he’s been sentenced and put to death because he’s a menace to society, and he doesn’t need to be living here amongst us.”
Williams also said, “I prayed day and night, noontime, morning time … I prayed for him to be captured and brought to justice. Now I pray for a conviction.”
About 10 Orlando Police vehicles and three Orange County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars were seen on Raleigh Drive about 8 p.m.
“Woo, yeah, they got him,” said area resident Tina James as she walked to retrieve her car at the Sunoco gas station on Raleigh Street. “If you can kill a police officer who else will you kill? Really!”
People gathered outside Timber Sound apartments, which has an entrance facing Lescot Lane, and watched as 4 police cars blocked off the entrance to the road about 8:15 p.m.
James, who lives nearby, said she worried because Loyd was on the loose.
“I was like, ‘Thank you, Jesus,'” said nearby resident Jackie Roy. She did not know him but said neighbors said he grew up in the neighborhood.
Roy said her two sons catch the city bus every morning near Lescot to Orlando Christian Prep school.
“We had people here in fear,” Roy said. “He didn’t have anything to lose.”
Roy said she heard a helicopter hovering and saw police gathering this afternoon and was hoping they had caught him.
Terri Sokolovic, a close friend of Clayton, was shopping in Wal-Mart when her phone rang with news of Loyd’s arrest Tuesday evening. Her eyes welled with tears as she said “praise god,” aloud.
(c)2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
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