Clayton County Police Officer Demika Lloyd, who was shot multiple times while trying to talk an armed woman out of committing suicide last July, is being released from the hospital and tells The Clayton Crescent “I’m glad I’m alive.” CCPD is calling on the public to welcome her home Friday afternoon.
“We are asking the citizens of Clayton County and Metro Atlanta to attend her homecoming celebration here at 3:45 p.m., on June 16th located at 7911 N. McDonough Street, Jonesboro, GA (Clayton County Police Department HQ),” CCPD posted to Facebook. “Please line the streets and the front lawn with signs and posters welcoming Officer Demika Lloyd back home. She will not be exiting the car, but she would love to receive a warm welcome from the citizens she served.”
Lloyd’s brother, Frederick, has been flying back and forth between Atlanta and Florida to help her recover. The flights are sponsored by Luke’s Wings, a group that provides free flights for military, veterans, and first responders who are seriously wounded, injured, ill, or in hospice care.
The Clayton Crescent spoke with both siblings Thursday evening. Frederick was bubbling with joy at his sister’s long-awaited homecoming.
“She’s happy to go home,” he laughed. “She’s ready to go home.”
He is a corrections officer who has been commuting from Homestead, Florida throughout Lloyd’s recovery.
“When it first happened, I was coming up here on my days off, like twice a week, every other week,” he said. “Every week I was coming up here for maybe a month, a month straight. And then I broke it down to every two weeks. From there, once she got to Augusta, the rehabilitation center…I figured she was in good hands, so I was able to like, break it down a little more, because that can, you know, wear on you.”
But he’s a good brother.
“Actually, I was flying to Atlanta, to make sure her house and everything was in order there, and then I’d drive two hours and a half to Augusta. Yeah.”
Lloyd has a daughter, as well as another brother and sister who are coming to visit. She also has an aunt and three cousins: “We’re all like brothers and sisters,” Frederick said.
Asked how Lloyd was doing, he called out, “How you doing, Demika?”
Lloyd said she is feeling better: “I still have a few things to go with, but I’m glad I’m alive, walk and talk.” She said she still has a couple of surgeries ahead and that she is not yet able to see out of one eye.
She’s also a little overwhelmed by all the attention: “It’s a lot.”
“She’s just happy to go home,” Frederick laughed. “And she appreciates all the love. It was a long journey, but she came a long way….It was a traumatic experience, it was. From that day when it happened ’til now, it’s like a dramatic change.”
According to Luke’s Wings’ website, the Fallen Officers Transportation Assistance Program (F.O.T.A.P.) offers “emergency travel coordination and complimentary airfare to the families and loved ones of law enforcement officers, immediately following a catastrophic injury or death while serving in the line of duty.” Luke’s Wings partners with Delta Air Lines, Spirit, United, and American Airlines, and it accepts both monetary donations and Delta Sky Miles. The average cost per flight is $350.
“Luke’s Wings has been honored to provide regular flights to Frederick, so he could be by her side and manage her care, working closely with Demika’s care team,” wrote Melissa Meadows, programs and logistics coordinator for Luke’s Wings. “Earlier this week I received a very excited call from Frederick – Demika is finally coming home! After at least 2 almost discharges, this time it is finally happening! The entire family is overjoyed (I am, too!) and will be celebrating her homecoming this Friday.”
Lloyd was shot after a Jonesboro woman made two suicide calls to 911, then refused help from Lloyd and Clayton County paramedics when they arrived. The woman’s mother also had called 911. Lloyd asked to speak with the woman, who was armed with a pistol, then tackled her. Security video appeared to show the woman stand over Lloyd and fire point-blank at her head. The woman, Aiyanah Pryor, then fled in a Jeep she later abandoned near Macon Drive and Polar Rock Road in Atlanta. Pryor allegedly shot at Atlanta Police officers, who returned fire and struck her multiple times. She also was hospitalized.
If you are considering suicide, or if you are experiencing a crisis, please call or text 988. Someone is there for you 24 hours a day, in English and in Spanish. Dial 988.