ORLANDO, Fla. – A Central Florida television journalist and a little girl were fatally shot Wednesday afternoon near the scene of a fatal shooting from earlier in the day, authorities said.
Spectrum News 13 early Thursday identified the TV reporter as 24-year-old Dylan Lyons, who graduated from the University of Central Florida.
Spectrum News 13 photographer Jesse Walden was critically injured in the shooting, according to the TV outlet.
The 9-year-old girl was identified Thursday by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as T’yonna Major. Her mother was wounded during the second shooting and was listed in critical condition.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said during a news conference Wednesday that deputies detained Keith Melvin Moses, 19, who they believe is responsible for both shootings in the Orlando-area neighborhood.
“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 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.
“So, the suspect is not saying much right now,” Mina said. “It is unclear if he knew they were news media or not. We’re still trying to work all that out.”
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 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.
The woman who was slain was identified by sheriff’s officials as 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin.
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.
TV crews who were also reporting on the morning shooting tried to give medical aid to the Spectrum 13 journalists.
Mina said Moses is already facing a murder charge for the initial victim, and charges are expected soon for the other four victims. Moses’ criminal history includes gun charges, as well as aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft offenses, the sheriff said.
“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.
A dedicated and motivated reporter, Dylan was shot and killed while working at the scene of a homicide. Spectrum News remembers our fallen colleague. https://t.co/264x3y8Lup— Spectrum News 13 (@MyNews13) February 23, 2023
News 13 addressed the story on TV, asking for prayers.
“Please, please, say a prayer tonight for our co-worker who is in critical condition. And while you’re at it, please say a prayer for every victim of gun violence in this country,” Spectrum 13 journalist Celeste Springer said during her live on-air report.
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.
Still in shock this morning after yesterday’s tragic shooting. News 13 has identified Dylan Lyons as the reporter who was killed. He was a former intern at News 6. https://t.co/6xaXZt7wH7 pic.twitter.com/nHxgPuxuEA— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) February 23, 2023
UPDATE: The three people senselessly murdered on 2/22 by Keith Moses:— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) February 23, 2023
Nathacha Augustin, 38.
9-year-old T'yonna Major, shot in her home. (Her mother was also shot & survived)@MyNews13 reporter Dylan Lyons, 24, died. (Photographer Jesse Walden was shot & survived) pic.twitter.com/mlut3TBa2z