Florida journalist, young girl killed in Orlando shooting
Authorities said the suspect had no connection to reporters or to the 9-year-old victim and the girl’s mother.
ORLANDO, Fla. – A gunman accused of killing an Orlando-area woman returned to the same neighborhood hours later and shot four more people, killing a journalist who covered the original shooting and a child 9 years old, Florida police said.
Spectrum News 13 identified the reporter killed Thursday as Dylan Lyons. Photographer Jesse Walden was also injured.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the two were in an unmarked media coverage of the first murder when a man approached and shoot them. The man then went to a nearby house, where he fatally shot the 9-year-old girl and seriously injured her mother. Officials have yet to release the name of the girl’s mother.
The sheriff said police arrested 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, who they believe is responsible for all of the shootings.
Mina said police did not immediately know the motive for the shooting. He said that Moses was acquainted with 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin, the first victim, but did not appear to be connected to anyone else. He said it was not clear if Moses knew two of those shot were journalists, and noted that their vehicle did not look like a regular news van or had the station’s logo on it.
It is not yet known if Moses has an attorney who can speak for him.
“I want to acknowledge what a terrible day this is for our community and media partners,” Mina told a room full of reporters. “No one in our community — not a mother, not a 9-year-old and certainly not the news professionals — has fallen victim to gun violence in our community. “
The sheriff met with community leaders Thursday morning and is expected to provide more details about the case after that meeting.
On Wednesday morning, officers arrived in the Pine Hills area, just northwest of Orlando, after reports that a woman in her 20s had been shot.
According to police and witnesses, Lyons and Walden were shot several hours later while covering the shooting, followed by the mother and daughter. WFTV crews, who were also covering the morning shooting, attempted to provide medical assistance to Spectrum 13 journalists.
Mina said Moses has been charged with first-degree murder against the original victim and expects charges against four other victims soon. The sheriff said Moses’ criminal history includes gun-related offences, as well as more serious assault, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the journalist killed today and the crew member injured in Orange County, Florida, as well as the entire Spectrum News team,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. write on Twitter.
“Please, please, pray tonight for our colleague who is in critical condition. And while you’re at it, please pray for every victim of gun violence in this country,” Spectrum 13 journalist Celeste Springer said during a live broadcast Wednesday night.
In a story published early Thursday, the station identified Lyons and Walden.
“(Lyons) takes his job very seriously. He loves his career. He loves what he does,” said Josh Miller, reporter and friend of Spectrum Sports 360. “He loves the community, telling people’s stories, covering the news, and he is just passionate about what he does.”
Lyons was born and raised in Philadelphia, and graduated from the University of Central Florida, the station said. Before joining Spectrum News, he worked for a station in Gainesville.
Rachel Lyons, the reporter’s sister, is raising money for his funeral in her GoFundMe account. She writes that Lyons will turn 25 in March. He is also survived by his parents and fiancée.
Worldwide, 40 journalists were killed last year, plus two more this year before Wednesday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Only one of them is in the United States.
Jeff German, who covered politics and corruption for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found dead outside his home in September after being stabbed multiple times. Former Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, who was a frequent subject of the German report, has pleaded not guilty to murder.
In 2015, Virginia reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot during their live broadcast for CBS affiliate WDBJ7. The suspect, a former TV station reporter, died by suicide during a law enforcement search for him.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/florida-journalist-young-girl-killed-in-orlando-shooting/507-c188cce2-054c-41ff-a03c-c71cd7eff0fb Florida journalist, young girl killed in Orlando shooting