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The community of Orange County, Florida, faces immense trauma after a Wednesday shooting spree left at least three people dead, including a nine-year-old girl and a 24-year-old journalist.
The shooting spree began with the killing of 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin around 11 a.m, Orange County Sheriff John Mina announced at a press conference. Later that afternoon, T’yonna Major, 9, and her mother were shot inside their home in the Pine Hills neighborhood. The mother remains in critical condition, but her daughter did not survive.
In the same neighborhood that afternoon, Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons, 24, and photojournalist Jesse Walden were also shot. Waldens remains in critical condition, but Lyons also did not survive.
Authorities apprehended a suspect whom they believed to be responsible for all three shootings, 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses.
The teenager allegedly had ties with the first victim, Augustin, but when it comes to the mother and daughter shot in the afternoon, “it is unclear why the suspect entered that home,” Sheriff Mina said.
Spectrum News mourns slain journalist
Following reports of the killing of reporter Dylan Lyons, support from the journalism community began to pour in. “He took his job very seriously. He loved his career; he loved what he did,” said Spectrum Sports 360 reporter and friend, Josh Miller.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also extended her condolences.
“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,” she tweeted.
The killings of journalists across the world rose sharply in 2022, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which recorded 67, mostly in Mexico, Ukraine and Haiti. Yet its rare for journalists to be killed in the United States. Only one journalist was reportedly killed in the U.S. last year.
Jeff German of the Las Vegas Review Journal was stabbed multiple times outside his home in September after publishing an investigative series about alleged mismanagement by Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles. The local official was arrested and charged for the murder, with a jury trial set for November.
Moses faces murder charges for Wednesday morning’s killing of Augustin, and authorities said he’ll face additional charges for the afternoon killings of 24-year-old Lyons and nine-year-old Major.