An Orlando TV journalist and a child were shot and killed on Wednesday evening near a crime scene where a woman was found shot to death earlier in the day, in a brutal spate of violence in Pine Hills that prompted widespread shock and grief. Orange County Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference that the journalist for Spectrum News 13 and the 9-year-old girl were among four people who were shot. The others were another member of the News 13 crew and the mother of the girl.
Spectrum News 13 released the names of their two journalists who were shot. Reporter Dylan Lyons, 24, a Philadelphia native and UCF grad who previously worked in Gainesville, was killed while photojournalist Jesse Walden was critically injured. Mina said a suspect, Keith Melvin Moses, 19, was in custody — and he was also suspected in the earlier shooting of the woman. The journalists were working on a story about the previous shooting in the Pine Hills neighborhood. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and the other lives senselessly taken today,” Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum News 13, said in statement shared on Twitter.
In Washington, the White House reacted Wednesday night to the news that journalists were among the victims in the latest spate of gun 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, the White House press secretary, said on Twitter.
The National Press Club said in a statement that it was “horrified” to learn about the shooting. “This is another tragic reminder that journalism is a dangerous business and that criminals and those that are the subject of reporting can become violent toward reporters who are doing their jobs,” the organization said. “We urge all reporters in the field to take extra precaution and redouble efforts to work safely.”