Spectrum News 13 announced the names of the two TV journalists who were shot, including one fatally, while covering a homicide case in Orange County on Wednesday.
Killed was TV reporter Dylan Lyons, a 24-year-old UCF grad and Philadelphia native, who previously worked in Gainesville, while photojournalist Jesse Walden was critically injured, the station announced during its 5 a.m. broadcast.
Lyons and a 9-year-old girl were killed and among four who were shot on Wednesday evening while near a Pine Hills home that was the crime scene where a woman had been found shot earlier in the day. The girl has not been named. The fourth shooting victim was the 9-year-old’s mother.
Lyons was born and raised in Philadelphia, but moved to Florida to attend the University of Central Florida, earning degrees in journalism and political science. He joined Spectrum News 13 in July, according to his bio on the news station’s website.
“As a reporter, he’s honored to have the unique privilege of being a voice for the voiceless and making sure all communities and stories are treated fairly and equally,” it says.
He previously worked for WCBJ-TV, a news station in Gainesville. His coverage of the 2020 race for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District was chosen as the best politics or elections reporting series by the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists.
“When Dylan’s not at work, you can find him taking advantage of the Orlando area’s many different dining experiences and cuisines,” his Spectrum News 13 bio said. “He especially loves exploring Winter Park, Winter Garden, Celebration and or Downtown Orlando with his family and dog.”
In a remembrance posted to the Spectrum News 13 website, friend and colleague Josh Miller said Lyons “took his job very seriously.”
“He loved his career,” Miller said. “He loved what he did. He loved the community, telling the stories of people, reporting on the news, and he was just passionate about what he did.”
Lyons’ family set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his funeral.
“He was an acting father to his niece and nephew who he loved so much,” his sister Rachel Lyons wrote. “He loved his fiancé and… was a devoted son to his mother and father.”
In statement shared on Twitter late Wednesday, News 13 parent company Charter communications said, “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,” the statement said. “We remain hopeful that our other colleague who was injured makes a full recovery. This is a terrible tragedy for the Orlando community.”
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference Wednesday evening that 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses is believed to have killed the woman whose death Lyons was covering, then returned later and carried out the other shootings.
“No one in our community, not a 9-year-old child or a media professional should become of victim of gun violence,” Mina said.
Earlier in the day, deputies found a woman in her 20s shot in a vehicle around 11:17 a.m. in the 6100 block of Hialeah Street. She was pronounced dead.
Moses and the woman were acquaintances, Mina said.
Lyon and Walden were covering that killing for News 13 when Mina said Moses walked up to their vehicle around 4:05 p.m. and fired into it, hitting the photographer and reporter. Both were taken to the hospital where Lyons was pronounced dead.
Moses then went to a house on Harrington Street nearby and shot a woman and her 9-year-old daughter, according to Mina. Deputies arrested Moses nearby not long after, Mina said.
“I want to acknowledge what a horrible day this has been for the community and our media partners,” Mina said.
The motive for the killings remains unclear.
As they mourned their colleague, the station’s staff continued live reporting Wednesday evening.
“This is extremely devastating for all of us,” reporter Celeste Springer said on air. “But I am proud to have such an amazing team backing all of us. …. 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.”
Source: Berkshire mont