ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Reactions have come pouring in from across the country following the death of a News 13 journalist who was among three killed, including a 9-year-old girl and a 38-year-old woman, in a string of shootings in Orange County Wednesday.
Orange County deputies said Keith Melvin Moses, 19, is responsible for the shootings. He has been arrested but so far has only been charged with the shooting death of the woman. Sheriff John Mina said he expects additional charges as the investigation continues.
According to Mina, deputies said they initially found a woman — identified as 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin — 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, where a Spectrum News 13 reporter — later identified as 24-year-old Dylan Lyons — and photographer, Jesse Walden, were covering the story. Deputies said the suspect approached the news vehicle and shot both men before walking up Harrington Street and entering a house, where he then shot a woman and her 9-year-old girl, identified as T’yonna Major.
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The girl’s mother and the other News 13 employee remain in the hospital in critical condition following the shooting.
During a news conference, Mina extended his condolences to the community of journalists who cover Central Florida.
“I want to acknowledge what a horrible day this has been for our community and our media partners. I’ve worked closely with all of you and know many of you and know the very difficult job that you do and also the very important job that you do for our community and for law enforcement,” Mina said. “No one in our community — not a mother, not a 9-year-old, certainly not news professionals — should become the victim of gun violence in our community.”
Since the news broke, people from across the country have shared similar sentiments, offering their thoughts for those hurt in the shooting and for the colleagues of the News 13 journalist.
Dan Shelly, the President and CEO of the Radio Television Digital News Association tweeted about the tragedy.
It is with deep sadness that @RTDNA learns of the death of a @MyNews13 journalist in Orlando. He was 1 of 2 of the station's journalists shot covering a previous crime in a residential area. Sending thoughts of peace and comfort to their families, friends & the other victims. https://t.co/B74aGdJIKv— Dan Shelley (@MurrowNYC) February 23, 2023
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, also posted online about the violence.
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.— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) February 23, 2023
The Society of Professional Journalists reached out to News 13 online.
We offer our deepest sympathy to this journalist's family, friends and colleagues and hope the second Spectrum News 13 journalist is safe and recovers quickly from their injuries.— Society of Professional Journalists (@spj_tweets) February 23, 2023
The Central Florida Association of Black Journalists released a statement about the violence to its members.
Good evening, CFABJ Family. I would like to send condolences and prayers to our Spectrum 13 family. Our jobs can be as dangerous as it can be rewarding. Please be safe out here in these streets and know that each of you are in my prayers.CFABJ
Members of the News 6 team also shared their sadness at the violence that hit our community.
Praying for my former colleagues at News 13.— Jacob Langston (@jacoblangston) February 23, 2023
My ENTIRE heart is going out to this team. Their families and coworkers need to go into our hearts. Journalists, this could have been any of us and we need to lift this amazing team in prayers. I pray for recovery and peace on them. https://t.co/N0HJoMRBah— Molly Reed (@Mollyreednews) February 23, 2023
When I left @MyNews13, I said how do you say goodbye to the place where you grew up?— Christie Zizo (@ChristieZizo) February 23, 2023
I still think of everyone I ever met at News 13 as part of my family. And right now I'm sending them all my love. If you need help, let me know. https://t.co/6eeySCv0JH
I'm just at a loss for words right now.— Jason Olson (@knightproducer) February 23, 2023
Tell someone you love them.
Struggling to find the words tonight as a fellow journalist was killed, another badly injured. Also, a 9-year old girl and 20-year old were killed. I’m praying for the grieving families, our friends at @MyNews13 and the 2 people fighting to stay alive tonight.— Matt Austin (@MattNews6) February 23, 2023
Reactions have also been pouring in from people outside the media as well, including members of law enforcement and elected leaders.
Gunned down doing a tough and often thankless job. @MyNews13 and all news crews you are in my heart tonight. I need you to know we care and appreciate the hard work you do and the sacrifices you make. This is a tragedy that should never have happened https://t.co/8s9x49UF5h— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) February 23, 2023
“We are stunned and heartbroken hearing the news out of Orange County that three people were fatally shot, and two others are fighting for their lives, at the hands of a violent criminal who was on a murderous rampage today. A nine-year-old child and a Spectrum 13 journalist lost their lives during these senseless and brutal acts, along with another victim who was killed this morning. Our prayers are with all of the families affected by this horrific event.
We would like the news media who report in Polk County to know that if you ever find yourselves in a situation or an area where you feel unsafe, to please call us and we will send deputies out to your location to protect you. We appreciate the jobs that you all do, and we will always be here to ensure you are safe while doing them.”Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd
This is a tragic and sad day, especially for those in the Orange County community. Hard to put all of this into words right now, but we ask for your prayers for the impacted families and for those that are injured fighting for their lives. https://t.co/zDLLX29jU1— Florida Sheriffs Association (@FLSheriffs) February 23, 2023
“We are saddened by the horrific shootings that took the lives of innocent victims in Orange County today. We work daily with our local media organizations to accurately cover the news and it is incomprehensible that a journalist has been killed while doing his job and that a child and a young woman have been killed as well. I offer condolences to the victims’ families and believe that this is a clarion call for our community to do more to stop this madness. I look forward to meeting with community leaders tomorrow to discuss next steps in reducing gun violence for our community.”Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings
2 members of Spectrum News 13 crew at the scene of a homicide investigation were shot & one has died. Investigators also responded to 9-year-old girl & her mom who were shot. The girl later died.— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) February 23, 2023
We must do better in ending gun violence & reducing crime.https://t.co/qjWHUY6fFd
“We all deserve long, joyous lives uninterrupted by gun violence. My deepest condolences to the victims & their families. Our CHILDREN are DYING as my fellow leaders stall and offer nothing but thoughts and prayers. I will fight until this is not our normal.”Congressman Maxwell Alejandro Frost
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