ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - "No chief wants to get that dreaded phone call. You know, one of your officers has been shot," says Orlando Police Chief John Mina in an interview with Fox 35's Amy Kaufeldt on the one-year anniversary of the death of Lt. Debra Clayton and Deputy Norman Lewis.
Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton was allegedly killed by Markeith Loyd outside of a Pine Hills Wal-mart in January. She was pursuing Loyd, as he was wanted for the December 2016 murder of a pregnant woman.
However, Markeith Loyd fled the scene, sparking a man hunt and frantic pursuit. Orange County Deputy First Class Norman Lewis was killed in a motorcycle crash while searching for Markeith Loyd following the death of Lt. Clayton.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina went on to say "I remember going to the hospital and meeting with grieving, broken officers and of course, Debra's family." Mina continued "It was a very tough day. We had to not only begin the process of grieving and putting that all together and what happened with Debra, but you are also searching for her killer to keep the community safe."
Several events will take place throughout Orlando on Tuesday, January 9th to honor the two fallen officers.
"We never forget our heroes and today is a day for the entire community to reflect on the great work they did," says Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
Beginning the day at 9:30 a.m., there will be a 30-minute ceremony (closed to the public) at the Wayne Densch Center for Student Athlete Leadership. The mother of Deputy Norman Lewis will present a picture of her son to the UCF Athletic Department. Lewis earned a bachelor's degree from the school in 2004 and was an offensive lineman for the Knight's football team from 2000 to 2003.
Then at 10 a.m., there will be a motorcycle ride (invitation only) in honor of fallen officers Lt. Debra Clayton and Deputy Norman Lewis. The route will past the Orlando Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, and the two locations where Clayton and Lewis lost their lives. The procession will end up at the ICP of Orlando church.
At 11 a.m., there will be private (not open to the public) hour worship service at the ICP of Orlando church.
There will also be a Legacy Walk in memory of Lt. Debra Clayton. The half-mile walk will take place at Dr. I. Sylvester Hankins Park located at 1340 Lake Park Ct at 4 p.m. The public is welcomed.
Orlando Police Chief also said in his interview with Fox 35 that "Debra really dedicated her life to the community. And her last moments on the Earth, her last actions were protecting the community that she loved. And she really spent her whole career trying to build trust within the community, engage with our citizens in a non-enforcement contact. She knew it was important to humanize our police officers. And I'm so very proud of her."
Markeith Loyd was put behind bars more than a week after the death of Lt. Debra Clayton and Deputy Norman Lewis. He was arrested using the handcuffs of Clayton.