Gov. Rick Scott has ordered flags at half-staff to honor two first responders killed in Central Florida.
The governor issued the directive Thursday.
“My wife Ann and I join Floridians across the state in praying for these officers and their families during this unimaginable time,” he said. “We ask that God provide them with much needed healing, comfort and hope.”
The U.S. and Florida flags will be flown at half-staff at the County Courthouse in Orange County, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, and at Orlando City Hall from sunrise to sunset this Friday and Saturday.
Authorities said Master Sergeant Debra Clayton of the Orlando Police Department died Monday in a shootout with Markeith Loyd, who is wanted on a murder charge related to the death of his pregnant girlfriend in December.
An Orange County sheriff’s deputy, Norman Lewis, later died from a car crash while he was traveling to the scene on a motorcycle.
“Any act of violence against our heroes is cowardly and shameful and our state will not stand for it,” Scott said. “I know the entire Orlando Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are working diligently to bring justice and ensure the Orlando community is safe and secure.”
In the past year, “our officers have faced challenges like never before,” he added. “But even after the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub last summer and the attack at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport last week, our law enforcement officers still wake up each day and choose to put their lives on the line in order to protect our state.”
The deaths of Clayton and Lewis serve “as a sobering reminder of how important it is for each one of us to take every opportunity to thank these heroes for their service and sacrifice,” Scott said.