Police in Orlando are hunting for a suspected murderer who shot and killed a policewoman on Monday morning.

Markeith Loyd, 41, was being sought in connection with the murder of a pregnant woman in December.

On the run for several weeks, he was confronted at a Walmart supermarket by Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, and shot her dead at 7:40am.

Loyd then fled the scene.


Seventeen schools in the area have been placed on lockdown as police hunt for Loyd.

A second police officer died in a motorbike crash during the search.

"To lose two law enforcement officers, on law enforcement appreciation day, is indeed a tragedy," said Sheriff Jerry Demings, of Orange County police.

He described Loyd as armed and dangerous, and appealed for the public to call the police if he was spotted.

He said they believed Loyd was being protected and hidden.

Loyd's victim was a 17-year veteran of the police force and a married mother of two.

"She always had a smile or a high five for every kid she came across," the Orlando police department said on Twitter.

- Originally published in the Daily Telegraph