Vigil held for Florida police officer killed in Orlando

Mourners in Central Florida gathered Tuesday night to remember a slain Orlando police officer who was shot and killed by a wanted murder suspect.

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Orlando Master Sgt. Debra Clayton's son spoke to the crowd of about 100 people, who gathered in the Walmart parking lot where Clayton was killed Monday.

ExplorePhotos: Vigil held for Master Sgt. Debra Clayton

“Everything she worked for, she died for,” said her son, Johnny. “She loved people, and she loved to save people and help people.”

ExploreThe Orlando Police Department tweeted that he was brave for speaking.

Johnny asked the community to continue his mother’s service of doing everything possible to keep the community safe.

“We’ve just got to keep pushing forward so we can make it a better city,” he said.

ExploreClayton was well known in the community for volunteering her time to help at-risk youths. She was involved in numerous outreach programs through the Orlando Police Department. 

More than 100 people gathered for the vigil.

As they held candles, prayed and fought back tears, Clayton’s sister, Ashley Thomas, spoke about Clayton’s selflessness.

“She was a good-hearted person, and she always wanted what was best for everybody,” said Thomas. That’s what Clayton was doing outside the Walmart when she tried to stop Markeith Loyd, but ended up becoming a victim.

Clayton, a 17-year veteran with the force, was attempting to stop and question Loyd after a customer at the store tipped her off that he was nearby.

Loyd has been wanted since December, after he allegedly shot and killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon.

Since Clayton's death, a memorial has been growing in the Walmart parking lot.

People in the community who knew Clayton shared their stories.

"She was a wonderful, wonderful lady. I can honestly say, if you needed something from her, she was there,” Michelle Morgan said. "Every morning, we'd have a conversation. And it was a great conversation. She's definitely going to be missed. And when I say missed, I mean missed, because I will be missing talking to her."

"It's a loss for the police force. It's a loss for the community. It's a loss for all of us. This police officer went to work to keep us safe yesterday, and she never came back,” David Lorzada said.

The funeral for Clayton will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Orlando.

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