(Reuters) - A Florida man was wearing body armor when he fatally shot a policewoman earlier this week, underscoring the danger he poses as a fugitive still evading capture four days into an extensive manhunt, Orlando’s police chief said on Thursday.
Markeith Loyd, 41, is also wanted in connection with the December killing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
Police believe he was wearing a bullet-proof vest when they say he gunned down Orlando police Master Sergeant Debra Clayton, 42, on Monday.
Authorities said Loyd opened fire after the officer responded to a sighting of the suspect at a Walmart in the city. The officer’s return fire may have struck the body armor, Orlando Police Chief John Mina told a news conference.
Loyd kept firing after the officer was down, Mina added.
“This violent felon, Markeith Loyd, had no qualms about killing a pregnant mother, or shooting and killing a police officer,” Mina said. “We want the community’s help to bring him to justice.”
Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Loyd’s arrest. Nearly 800 tips have been received and around 100 locations searched, Mina said.
Three people in Florida were arrested this week on charges of having aided Loyd avoid capture in recent weeks, police said.
An Orange County sheriff’s deputy was killed in a collision between his motorcycle and a van on Monday during the search for Loyd, police said. A funeral service for Deputy First Class Norman Lewis, 35, is scheduled for Friday. Clayton’s funeral will be held on Saturday.
Reporting by Letiita Stein in Tampa, Florida, and Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Sandra Maler