PINE HILLS, Fla. - Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings is urging a suspect wanted for the murder of an Orlando police officer to turn himself in to authorities.
Demings spoke Monday at a news conference held near the area in northwest metro Orlando where hundreds of officers from multiple police agencies were searching for 41-year-old Markeith Loyd.
Demings says the best thing he could tell the suspect is to surrender so the situation can be resolved peacefully.
Loyd is suspected in the shooting death of Master Sgt. Debra Clayton. Clayton was shot after she approached Loyd outside a Walmart store Monday morning.
An Orange County deputy sheriff was also killed during the search for Loyd.
"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the death of our beloved Deputy First Class Norman Lewis. DFC Lewis lost his life after a traffic crash at the intersection of Balboa and North Pine Hills Road at 9:44 a.m. today," said Jane Watrel, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, a van was traveling northbound on Pine Hills Road and Deputy Lewis was on his motorcycle, traveling southbound on Pine Hills Road. The van made a left turn in the direct path of the motorcycle. The front of the motorcycle struck the right side of the van.
Lewis, 35, was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center and later died from his injuries.
"He did his job every day and I think the public needs to know, whether it's doing mundane stuff or looking for the worst person possible, we are out here doing our job. That's what he was doing," said Kim Montes with the Florida Highway Patrol.
The driver of the van was not injured.
Lewis had been with the Orange County Sheriff's Office since March of 2005. He was an esteemed member of the Motors/DUI Unit. He was also a graduate of the University of Central Florida and played football for the Knights.
For more information on the manhunt click here.