Markeith Loyd walks out of Walmart; seconds later, gun battle erupts, video shows

Customers ducked for cover 10 seconds after Loyd left store

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Video released Wednesday shows accused double murderer Markeith Loyd walking out of the Princeton Street Walmart seconds before authorities said he started shooting at Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.

New documents released by State Attorney Brad King’s office included surveillance video of Loyd and Clayton at the Walmart off John Young Parkway on Jan. 9 before the fatal shooting.

Loyd is seen in the video entering the store at 6:45 a.m., wearing a black sweatshirt with the word "security" on the back and camouflage pants, surveillance video showed.

At some point while in the store, Loyd approached a plainclothes loss prevention officer to ask him if the store had a restroom other than the one located at the front of the store. 

Lt. Debra Clayton is seen checking out at Walmart in Orlando on Jan. 9 minutes before she was shot.

“When he asked me about the bathroom, that’s what really raised my suspicion. I thought he was probably going to conceal something in the bathroom,” the man said.

He wasn't sure if Loyd knew there was a police officer in the store, but did say Loyd seemed to be "tip-toeing" and acting "secretive."

Loyd and Clayton were in the same checkout line at 7:11 a.m., separated by two customers. Loyd got out of line and went to another checkout counter to finish paying for his groceries.

Clayton finished checking out just after 7:14 a.m. Loyd is seen walking parallel to Clayton just on the other side of the checkout row.

A witness said she notified Clayton of Loyd's presence. The woman was in line to pay for her groceries then walked to customer service. When she returned, she saw Loyd. She recognized him because he was married to her cousin, but the Walmart encounter was their first time speaking in person. 

“As soon as I seen him, I just like dropped my head, saying to myself, excuse my language, ‘Oh (expletive), that’s him.’ That’s why I couldn’t really tell (the officers) what he had on because after I looked up and seen it was him, I stopped looking at him,” the woman said.

She walked out of the store, trying to remain calm, then bolted toward Clayton, who was putting her groceries in her car. 

“I saw her, I was like, ‘Ma’am there’s Markeith Loyd in the store’ and she said ‘Who?’ and I said ‘Y'all are out looking for him for murdering his pregnant girlfriend’ and she said, ‘Oh OK,’” the witness said. “I couldn’t believe this man was in the store.”

Surveillance video showed Loyd walking out of the store 7:17 a.m. A little more than 10 seconds later, shoppers can been seen running and ducking for cover as he exchanged gunfire with Clayton.

Witnesses told police that Clayton approached Loyd as he was exiting the store and gave him commands to stop. 

“When he came out, that’s when I heard her say, ‘Get on the ground.’ “He went like he was gonna run and then turned around and pulled his gun out,” a witness said.

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.

At 7:19 a.m., Orlando police received a call that an officer was down.

[Interactive Timeline: How the hunt and capture of Markeith Loyd unfolded]

A woman who works at Walmart had clocked out minutes before the shooting and witnessed the entire interaction, beginning when the witness approached Clayton to notify her of Loyd's presence and ending when she sat by Clayton's side as she laid bleeding on the ground suffering from four gunshot wounds.

"After she fell, he walked up to her and shot her some more," the woman said.

She said Loyd could have fled after shooting Clayton in the hip, but instead he chose to turn around and kill her.

"(He wanted to) finish her off. He just has hatred in his heart, I'm sorry," she said.

The woman said she watched Clayton take some of her last breaths and prayed for her in her final moments. She also watched as Loyd calmly walked away from the scene.

"Just walked to the car, (started) it up and that's when he took off. I should have followed him," she said.

Clayton was attempting to arrest Loyd, who had been on the run since Dec. 13 when police said he shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, 24, also killing her unborn child.

A woman who sold Loyd her car said she knew the couple, but never expected anything like this to happen. She last saw them in December, shortly before Dixon was shot. In their last encounter, Dixon told the woman she and Loyd were having a baby. Dixon asked the woman to pray for her because she was in the process of getting her real estate license.

"This was a respectable man, I never expected him to do all the stuff like this here. I don’t know what flipped out of this man’s mind,” she said.

She was shocked during her interview with police hours after Clayton's death.

“I really want him to take that damn gun, and God forgive me what I’m about to say, I really want him to take that gun and go and blow his damn self out 'cause he’s a walking bomb, a walking dead bomb.” 

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About the Authors:

Jason, the assistant news director, served as the assignment manager since 2017. Previously, he served as executive producer of News 6 at 11 p.m. He is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida.