ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Three people are dead after shootings Wednesday, including a 9-year-old girl and a television journalist, who was in a Central Florida neighborhood reporting on a homicide that had occurred earlier in the day, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina.
Mina said detectives were first called to the scene on Hialeah Street Wednesday morning where they found a woman who had been shot to death. They later received 911 calls about another shooting at that location, as well as a third shooting nearby.
“On Hialeah street deputies located two men who had been shot in or near a vehicle. They are a (Spectrum) News 13 reporter and photographer who were on the scene to cover the homicide from this morning,” Mina said.
The sheriff added that on Harrington Street nearby, a woman and her 9-year-old girl were also shot inside their home. The 9-year-old girl, Mina said, succumbed to her injuries.
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“The victims were transported to nearby hospitals, and tragically, one of the News 13 employees has passed,” the sheriff added.
Spectrum 13 News later identified the reporter who was killed as 24-year-old Dylan Lyons. The photojournalist who was critically injured was Jesse Walden.
OBITUARY: Remembering Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Lyons’ family with funeral expenses.
Mina said investigators detained the person believed to be responsible for the murder earlier in the day, as well as the shootings that occurred in the afternoon. He was identified as Keith Moses, 19.
“He’s eventually going to be charged with the murder this morning and then the four shootings this afternoon, definitely murder on the news reporter,” Mina said.
The girl’s mother was also said to be in critical condition at a local hospital.
The sheriff said Moses has a criminal history that includes gun charges, aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft.
Mina said that Moses wasn’t saying much to investigators and that it was unclear if the news crew was targeted and that it was unclear why Moses entered the home of the mother and child.
“I want to acknowledge what a horrible day this has been for our community and our media partners,” Mina told a room full of reporters. “I work closely with all of you and know many of you and know the the very difficult job that you do and also the very important job that you do for our community and for law enforcement. No one in our community - not a mother, not a 9-year-old and certainly not news professionals - should become the victim of gun violence in our community.”
Mina said they don’t immediately have a motive for any of the shootings.
Mina said the News 13 vehicle did not look like a typical news van with TV station markings.
Deputies had initially responded to the Pine Hills area, just northwest of Orlando, on Wednesday morning following reports of a woman in her 20s being shot.
Moses “was an acquaintance of the woman this morning, but as far as we know, had no connection to the reporters and no connection to the mother and the 9-year-old,” Mina said.
According to witnesses, a man approached the news vehicle later Wednesday and opened fire, hitting the two reporters. The man then walked to a nearby home and shot the mother and daughter.
WFTV crews, who were also reporting on the morning shooting, tried to give medical aid to the Spectrum 13 journalists.
In response to the shooting, Spectrum News 13′s parent company, Charter Communications, released the following statement Wednesday night:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and the other lives senselessly taken today. Our thoughts are with our employee’s family, friends and co-workers during this very difficult time. We remain hopeful that our other colleague who was injured makes a full recovery.
This is a terrible tragedy for the Orlando community.”
This is 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, the suspect in a series of shootings today that left three dead, in OCSO custody. This is a sad day for our community. Three were murdered today, including a woman in her 20s, a 9-year-old girl and a @MyNews13 employee. pic.twitter.com/DXXkxzRHl5— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) February 23, 2023
“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 whole Spectrum News team,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Twitter.
Worldwide 40 journalists were reported killed last year, plus another two this year before Wednesday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Only one of those was in the United States.
Jeff German, who covered politics and corruption for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found dead outside of his home in September after being stabbed multiple times. Former Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, who had been a frequent subject of German’s reporting, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
In 2015, Virginia reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed during their live TV broadcast for CBS affiliate WDBJ7. The suspect, a former reporter for the TV station, died by suicide during the law enforcement search for him.