‘Kind and beautiful young girl:’ 9-year-old killed in shooting was student at Pine Hills Elementary School

T’yonna Major, News 13 journalist and 38-year-old woman killed in shootings

PINE HILLS, Fla.A 9-year-old girl was one of three killed, including a News 13 reporter and a 38-year-old woman, in a Pine Hills shooting on Wednesday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies identified those killed in a string of shootings in Pine Hills as 9-year-old T’yonna Major, 24-year-old Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons and 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin.

[RELATED: Timeline: What we know about shooting deaths of a News 13 journalist, 2 others in Pine Hills | 3 killed, including News 13 journalist, child, in Pine Hills shootings, sheriff says]

Orange County Public Schools confirmed Thursday that the girl shot and killed was a Pine Hills Elementary School student.

T’yonna’s mother, who has not been identified, and Spectrum News 13 photographer Jesse Walden were also shot and critically injured.

Deputies said they arrested 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses in connection with the shootings. According to Mina, deputies initially found Augustin shot to death around 11:20 a.m. in the 6100 block of Hialeah Street. Later on Wednesday, deputies said Moses returned to the scene of the homicide, and shot Lyons and Walden as they were covering the story.

Then, the suspect walked up Harrington Street and entered a house, where he shot Major and her mother.

Principal Latonya Smothers sent a voice message out to families notifying them of T’yonna’s death, adding “she was a kind and beautiful young girl with an infectious smile (who) will be missed dearly.”


“Today I was notified of the tragic death of one of our students, T’yonna Major, who was one of the victims of yesterday’s senseless violence in our neighborhood,” Smothers said in the voice message. “I know I speak for our entire Pine Hills community when I express the grief we feel at the loss of one of our own.”

She added that T’yonna’s mother is still listed in critical condition at the hospital.

“Her mother is currently in critical condition and we are hopeful she makes a full recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they go through this extremely difficult time,” she said.

Smothers also said grief counselors would be available on the Pine Hills Elementary School campus for any student or staff member that needs to talk about the loss.

“A wide range of emotions can be felt during this grief process and we encourage you to openly discuss your child’s reaction to this news. Please keep our students and staff in your thoughts at this difficult time. Thank you for your support,” Smothers said.

Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez released the following statement following the shootings.

“Words cannot express the disbelief and anger I feel about the senseless violence yesterday that led to three deaths, including one of our precious students. My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to their families and friends. These tragedies have become all too common and it needs to stop. We must work together as a community to end these horrible tragedies.”

Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez

To donate to T’yonna and her family, click here.

A motive in the shootings is not known.

Moses has a lengthy criminal history and has previously faced charges of aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft.

He faces a charge in connection with the death of the woman Wednesday morning, and deputies expect additional charges for the other shootings.

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