- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Florida man wanted for the fatal shootings of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando Police officer was being held in custody at a hospital Wednesday morning, ending a monthlong manhunt, authorities said.

Authorities captured Markeith Loyd, 41, Tuesday night after detectives traced him to an abandoned home in West Orlando.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Mr. Loyd tried to flee out the back of the home but retreated back inside and later emerged from the front door wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying two handguns.

Mr. Loyd dropped the guns to surrender but was injured when he resisted arrest, the police chief said. He was restrained using the handcuffs of Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, the Orlando Police officer Mr. Loyd is accused of killing earlier this month.

“We are very excited a cop killer, someone who is wanted for another murder of Sade Dixon, is off the streets,” Chief Mina said.

News footage showed Mr. Loyd with blood on his face and a swollen eye as he was being led out of the Orlando Police station. Officers transported him to a hospital for treatment, where police spokeswoman Michelle Guido said he will be held until he is transported to jail.

It was unclear when Mr. Loyd would make a first appearance before a judge.

Authorities filed an affidavit Wednesday with the Orange County Clerk of Courts, asking for bond to be denied for Mr. Loyd to ensure that the former fugitive and accused cop killer remains in custody.

Mr. Loyd was wanted in the Dec. 13 fatal shooting of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. Authorities said Mr. Loyd had gone to her home and banged on the front door; when she answered, he shot her and her brother, who was critically injured. Five others were home at the time of the shooting, including Dixon’s two young children.

After that, Mr. Loyd went on the run.

He maintained a low profile until Jan. 9, when authorities said he fatally shot Master Sgt. Clayton after she recognized him at an Orlando Wal-Mart and tried to arrest him. Mr. Loyd fled the scene in the officer’s patrol car.

The subsequent chase and search for Mr. Loyd also turned deadly: Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy 1st Class Norman Lewis, 35, was killed when his motorcycle collided with another vehicle during pursuit of the wanted gunman.

Authorities increased the reward for information about Mr. Loyd’s whereabouts to $125,000 and received hundreds of tips. But ultimately, Chief Mina said it was police work, not community tips, that led to his arrest.

In the weeks leading up to Mr. Loyd’s capture, three others were arrested and charged with helping Mr. Loyd during his time on the lam.

Zarghee Mayan, Mr. Loyd’s former boss at Texas Fried Chicken, was arrested and has admitted to giving the fugitive free food and money while he was on the run. Also arrested were Mr. Loyd’s niece, Lakensha Smith-Loyd, and his ex-girlfriend, Jameis Slaughter.

Ms. Guido said no additional suspects had been taken into custody as of Wednesday.

Chief Mina said he expects more arrests in the case for anyone who helped Mr. Loyd evade police. He said authorities didn’t know how long Mr. Loyd had been in the house, which was abandoned but does have ties to his associates.

“Anyone who harbored, aided or abetted him in any way is going to be arrested, and we know from our investigation that people did assist him,” Chief Mina said.

⦁ This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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