Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch delivered the following statement on the recent deaths of the two officers in Florida at the beginning of today’s event commemorating National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:
“Good afternoon, everyone. Before we begin, I want to take a moment to address the shooting of a police officer this morning in Orlando. Master Sergeant Debra Clayton, a 17-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department, was shot and killed this morning by an individual evading arrest on murder charges. During the subsequent search for the shooter, a deputy sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, whose name has not been released, was killed in an auto accident as part of the pursuit. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida is in regular contact with our local counterparts. The FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshals Service are all actively assisting with the search for the perpetrator. We will continue to offer any and all assistance to our state and local partners as they continue to investigate this devastating incident.
“These tragic deaths make clear the great risks that our brave men and women in uniform face each and every day, and the deep and abiding gratitude that our nation owes them for their service. As they are responding to events in their community, they are often the first on the scene of dangerous events – as we saw when they responded to the shootings at the Fort Lauderdale Airport last Friday, when five innocent people lost their lives to a gunman. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wilfredo Ferrer, is here with me today, and his office filed federal charges in that matter on Saturday.
“My thoughts and prayers – and those of my colleagues at the Department of Justice – are with the families and loved ones of those lost and wounded in these tragic events.”