Breaking News Emails
A murder suspect who fatally shot an Orlando police sergeant doesn't deserve to live, the officer's grieving relative says.
"I want them to shoot him. I want them to take his life," Francine Thomas, cousin of slain Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, told NBC affiliate WESH in Orlando. "I don't think he deserves to live because he didn't consider that Debra would not have been the typical cop."
Thomas spoke as Orlando reeled from Monday's violence, in which Clayton and another officer were killed while hunting for Markeith Damengzlo Loyd, 41 — a convict who has been on the run since he allegedly fatally shot his pregnant ex-girlfriend last month.
Clayton, 42, was shot by Loyd after she responded to a sighting of him outside a Walmart store at about 7:15 a.m. ET Monday, according to Police Chief John Mina. Clayton returned fire, but authorities don't believe Loyd was struck.
The hunt for Loyd intensified Tuesday.
Shortly after, Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Norman Lewis, an 11-year veteran, was killed in a car crash as authorities pursued Loyd.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers searched through the night for Loyd, whose criminal history stretches back more than two decades. He is suspected of killing Sade Dixon, a mother of two who was three months pregnant, on Dec. 13.
Officials are offering a $60,000 reward for information leading to Loyd's capture.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared Monday an official day of mourning following the deaths of Clayton and Lewis.
Clayton had been with the force for 17 years and grew up in the Orlando area. Police records show that she was among the first group of officers who responded to the shootings that killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12.
She had a college-aged son and was about to celebrate her one-year anniversary to her husband, her cousin told WESH. Fellow officers and the community remembered her for her volunteer work with Orlando youth.
"She loved what she did in terms of educating the public," Thomas said.
Authorities continued to search Tuesday for Loyd, who they believe may be receiving help from other people. Anyone assisting him will be criminally charged, the police chief said.
Loyd could face charges of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
"We're going to bring this dirt bag to justice, and he's going to go to jail," Mina said Monday.