ORLANDO, Fla. – Accused killer Markeith Loyd appeared calm in January as he was leaving an Orlando Walmart where police said he fatally shot a police lieutenant, even glancing back as people ran to help the victim, according to new documents.
Loyd and Lt. Debra Clayton were in the same Walmart checkout line on Jan. 9, separated by two customers, when a witness said she notified Clayton of Loyd's presence, documents show.
Several witness statements include those of customers and employees, and a loss prevention officer who spoke to Loyd.
The joint homicide investigation report shows that while Loyd was at the store off John Young Parkway, he approached an asset protection officer to ask for directions to the bathroom.
Loyd's bulletproof vest was visible in security video.
Customers and staff in the parking lot said they ducked for cover when Loyd and Clayton began exchanging gunfire.
Clayton was attempting to arrest Loyd for the Dec. 13 shooting of his 24-year-old pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon.
The last radio transmission made by Clayton, “Foot pursuit! Foot pursuit!” was followed by three gunshots and then silence, according to Orlando police officer accounts.
Security footage showed Loyd stepping over Clayton’s body to leave the scene after he delivered the fatal gunshot wound to her neck. Records show she did not have a pulse when she was loaded into an ambulance on the way to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
After the shooting, witnesses described Loyd as ”slowly” leaving the Walmart parking lot in a Buick. Security video showed Loyd “calmly” unlocking his vehicle and getting in. He looked back to watch people run to aid Clayton as she lay in the parking lot, records said.
A witness who first got to Clayton after the shooting told Orlando police detectives that Clayton was trying to speak, but could not.
Clayton suffered four gunshot wounds, the final to her neck was the only one that was fatal, the medical examiner determined.
The items that Loyd purchased at Walmart on the day of the shooting were later found in the house where he was hiding from law enforcement officers, according to a list of items found during a search of the property.
Loyd's interview with police
Loyd told detectives during a more than 40-minute interview that he was “defending” himself against Clayton. Surveillance video showed that Loyd pulled out his gun first as Clayton was approximately 10 feet behind him, police said.
Transcripts of that interview were included in discovery materials by State Attorney Brad King's office, which is handling Loyd's prosecution.
When he was told that he was in custody for a homicide, Loyd asked, “What homicide?”
"We got to know what happened," a detective said. "We got a grieving family here for a police officer. They want to know what happened."
In an expletive-laden answer, Loyd blamed Clayton for her death, saying that she was "shootin' the whole time." Surveillance video showed Clayton on the ground when Loyd delivered the fatal gunshot to her neck.
"Why didn't you just run?" the detective asked. "You can't outrun a female with 30, 40 pounds of gear on her? Why did you choose to shoot instead of run?"
"Why (did) she choose to approach me instead of in front of the car with all them people standing out?" Loyd replied.
During the interview, Loyd claimed that the Dec.13 shooting leading up to his arrest was because Dixon "went and got a gun" and her brother "jumped on me."
Text messages between Loyd and Dixon
Text messages released as evidence between Loyd and Dixon show that he was upset with her for eating meat and smoking. They also argued about a Facebook Live video Loyd posted showing him with strippers at a club, police said.
"I could have left you for trying (to) end my life," Dixon texted Loyd on Dec. 10, the day she moved out. Family members have said that Loyd had been violent toward Dixon, including an incident in which he bit her.
The last text message Loyd sent Dixon before the shooting was at 8:24 p.m.
"Yes I been mad and in my feelings so instead of doing other (expletive) I started to flirt so anything else I ain't did (expletive) ... all you had to do was answer my calls but you was doing you," the text read.
The first 911 call reporting gunshots on Long Peak Drive was at 9:03 p.m.
"Don't know if you go make it hope you don't, told you don't play with me and you went and got a gun on me instead of talking to me so you wanted it when all I ever wanted was to talk, now we paying the price,” Loyd wrote in a text message to Dixon eight minutes after she was pronounced dead at 9:16 p.m.
Dixon, who was fewer than two months' pregnant when she was killed, was shot seven times, according to the medical examiner's report. She suffered three gunshot wounds to the left side of her chest, one to her left arm and one to her right foot.
Dixon's brother, Ronald Stewart, told police he watched Dixon and Loyd argue through the window. He drove away and she came inside, then returned outside about 10 minutes later and they resumed arguing.
He heard a noise as if something had been pushed against the garage door and looked out the window again. He told police that it seemed as if Dixon was scared because she was standing so far away from Loyd.
Stewart went outside to deescalate the situation. He tried to calm them down as Loyd hurled accusations at Dixon.
"You want to tell them all that, but you don't want to tell them that you had a gun to my head in the back yard of my mom's house?" Dixon replied.
Loyd pulled out a gun from the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt as Dixon was trying to go inside, police said.
"Nah, nah, nah, she ain't going nowhere right now, she ain't going nowhere, we got to talk about this, I can't walk away from this situation, we got to talk about it," the documents show Loyd said before opening fire.
Stewart was shot first, police said. He told authorities that Dixon did not display her 9mm handgun or shoot it at any point during the encounter. Police said they did not find any shell casings from the 9mm on the scene.
Police said Loyd used the same .40-caliber gun to kill Dixon and Clayton.
The discovery documents also show the results of a search warrant executed at the Orlando property on Lescot Lane where Loyd was captured on Jan. 17.
Authorities collected handwritten notes, multiple guns, ammunition, cannabis, cash and a Samsung phone hidden in a toilet, they said.
A 10 1/2-page handwritten note detailed what happened leading up to Dixon’s death and the shooting of her brother, records show.
“The writer provided an explanation as to why he did it and the unintended consequence of the killing of his unborn child,” according to the report.
The name “Markeith Loyd” was written at the bottom of the letter.
History of domestic violence
Orlando police records among the discovery show that Loyd’s ex-wife accused him in 2015 of shooting her in the leg. She originally told police that she was shot during a robbery but later said Loyd shot her.
Lacarsha Robinson said Loyd “continues to beat her” after a year of domestic violence incidents.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that within six months of marrying Robinson, Loyd faced domestic violence charges that were later dismissed.
The two were married for two years and filed for divorce last November, according to court records.
Orlando police interviewed a friend of Dixon's who said the 24-year-old had black eye before sometime after Loyd had "pistol-whipped her."
Dixon's mother also told police that Loyd bit Dixon and she had to get a tetanus shot because of it.