ORLANDO, Fla. — After a police officer in Orlando was gunned down while on duty, a deputy sheriff from a nearby agency died while searching for the shooter, authorities said Monday.
The Orlando Police Department called it a “tragic irony” that both officers died on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
“We are still committed to your safety,” the department said.
The deputy sheriff was riding a motorcycle while pursuing Markeith Loyd when the deputy sheriff was killed in a “traffic accident,” Sheriff Jerry Demings told reporters.
The unidentified deputy sheriff was chasing down the suspected killer of Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, who was shot earlier in the day near a Walmart in Orlando.
Clayton, a 17-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department described as being “deeply committed to the community,” died at 7:40 a.m. Monday.
She was 42, was married and has a son, the department said.
Clayton “will be missed beyond words,” the department tweeted. “She always had a smile/high five 4 every/kid she came across.”
With an earlier Twitter post announcing the sergeant’s death was a video of her body being taken out of the hospital to a waiting van in a flag-covered stretcher.
The suspect in her slaying has been identified as Markeith Loyd, who is also wanted in the December slaying of a pregnant woman in Orange County. A massive manhunt is underway and several schools are in lockdown mode.
A reward of up to $60,000 has been offered for information about Loyd’s whereabouts, police said. Tips can be reported to Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.