PINE HILLS – Four people were shot in Pine Hills Wednesday evening, including a pair of Spectrum News 13 reporters and a nine year-old girl according to police. One of the reporters was announced dead, as well as the girl. The second reporter was hospitalized for his injuries, as was the mother of the girl.
The reporter who was shot was later identified as Dylan Lyons, a 24 year-old graduate of the University of Central Florida. Lyons was on-scene with photojournalist Jesse Walden reporting on another homicide, the shooting death of 38 year-old Nathacha Augustin. The young girl who was killed was identified as T’yonna Major.
An arrest has been made in connection to the killings of Lyons and Major, and is believed to also be responsible for Augustin’s killing: 19 year-old Keith Melvin Moses was taken into custody by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office shortly after the shootings occurred.
Details of the killings are still coming to light, but witnesses from WFTV, who were also on-scene reporting, say the shooter approached Spectrum News 13’s vehicle and began shooting. “The man walked by our crew who was working in their car,” said WFTV reporter Nick Papantonis, in comments reported by The Orlando Sentinel. “Our crew ducked. The man then walked up to the other crew working in their car and opened fire.”
After shooting into the News 13 van, the shooter is then said to have walked to the house where Major and her mother were located and began shooting. Moses was arrested shortly thereafter and the gun believed to be used in the murders was recovered.
WESH 2 News also had a crew on-scene, but reporter Senait Gebregiorgis said they left before things turned deadly. “We got a gut feeling,” she went on to say.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and the other lives senselessly taken today,” said Charter Communications (Spectrum’s parent company) in a statement on the death of Lyons. “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 terribly tragedy for the Orlando community.”
Jesse Walden, the photojournalist injured in the shooting, is still in the midst of intensive medical care as of Thursday morning. He was reported in critical condition after being hospitalized, and has been in surgery since being wounded.
So far Moses has been charged with murder for the killing of Augustin, with further charges expected for the deaths of Lyons and Major. Prior to Wednesday night the 19 year-old had already been charged with aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, grand theft, and gun offenses. Sheriff John Mina has said that Moses is being less than talkative with detectives, and he wasn’t able to confirm whether Moses knew two of his victims were with the news media. A connection was confirmed to Augustin, but not to the mother and daughter.
The shooting has already been addressed by the White House, with Biden-administration Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeting, “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. Our hearts are also with the other shooting victims today, their families, and the entire community. Too many lives are being ripped apart by gun violence.”
This story is still developing and more updates from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are expected in the coming days.