Chief John Mina of the Orlando Police Department in Florida sadly reports the death of Master Sergeant Debra Clayton.

Sergeant Clayton, 42, was in the parking lot of a Walmart store and was notified by a citizen that a murder suspect was in the store at the checkout counter. Sgt. Clayton contacted dispatch and advised of the situation.

As she was entering the Walmart store to confront the suspect, the suspect exited the store. Sgt. Clayton ordered the suspect to stop and the suspect brandished a firearm and commenced shooting at Sgt. Clayton.

Sgt. Clayton was wearing her body armour and was struck at least three times in areas that were not protected by her vest. Sgt. Clayton returned fire at the suspect in spite of being struck by the suspect’s gunfire.

The suspect fled the scene on foot running away and pointing his firearm behind him shooting indiscriminately in Sergeant Clayton’s direction. Sgt. Clayton was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she succumbed to her gunshot wounds.

The suspect was wanted on a warrant for the murder of his ex-girlfriend of whom was pregnant at the time of her death and the shooting of her brother three months prior to this incident.

Following the shooting, the suspect carjacked a citizen’s vehicle and fled the scene. During a search for the suspect, a captain from the Orange County Sheriff Department spotted the carjacked vehicle. As he was attempting to get behind the suspect and the vehicle, he was shot at by the suspect and his patrol vehicle was struck multiple times by the gunfire. The suspect managed to evade the Orange County Officer and he remains at large.

During the search for this suspect, Orange County Sheriff Deputy Norman Lewis was killed in a motorcycle crash when a minivan turned in front of his motor unit. Deputy Lewis was responding to the scene of the shooting of Sergeant Clayton.

Master Sergeant Clayton served the Orlando Police Department for seventeen years. She is the first Orlando Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty in the past ten years. Sergeant Clayton is survived by her husband and a son who is of college age.

Master Sergeant Debra Clayton-gone,but never forgotten. EOW: Monday, January 9, 2016.

Graphic done by Rose Borisow GraFX