ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A suspect who was wanted in the shooting death of a woman Wednesday morning returned to the scene of the crime and is now accused of gunning down two more people; a journalist covering the story as well as a young girl. Moreover, two additional people also suffered critical gunshot wounds during the shooting spree, authorities said.
Officials said Keith Melvin Moses, 19, is responsible for all three murders. The series of homicides began about 11 a.m. when the gunman reportedly shot and killed a 38-year-old woman sitting in a car on the street, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. The accused killer returned to the scene about 4 p.m. and fatally shot a Spectrum News 13 journalist as well as a 9-year-old girl, the New York Post reported.
In addition to the three murder victims, two others were also wounded by gunfire on Hialeah Street in Pine Hills, including a Spectrum photographer and another woman, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina.
This is 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, the suspect in a series of shootings today that left three dead, in OCSO custody. This is a sad day for our community. Three were murdered today, including a woman in her 20s, a 9-year-old girl and a @MyNews13 employee. pic.twitter.com/DXXkxzRHl5
— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) February 23, 2023
A Spectrum News 13 crew was at the scene covering the first homicide of an unnamed woman, which occurred Wednesday morning. She was shot and killed while sitting inside an automobile. Moses returned to the scene about five hours later and opened fire on the journalists who were there reporting on the initial murder.
Sheriff Mina said both a News 13 reporter and photographer were in and near their news van when they were shot.
The reporter was killed. He was identified by his family on Thursday as 24-year-old Dylan Lyons. The photographer was rushed to the hospital and is in critical condition, the sheriff said.
The reporter who was gunned down and killed while reporting on the earlier homicide was identified by his family as 24-year-old Dylan Lyons. (Facebook)
Shortly after the gunfire on the street involving the News 13 crew, Moses reportedly stormed into a house on Hialeah Street, where he shot another woman and her 9-year-old daughter. The mother is “fighting for her life,” but the child did not survive, according to officials, The Post reported.
When Moses was taken into custody following the later shootings, law enforcement authorities confirmed he was the suspect in the original murder involving a 38-year-old woman. He was armed with the weapon reportedly used in the homicides, but officials did not provide further details.
Moses was booked into jail for murder and is expected to be charged with all three homicides in addition to other related charges regarding the victims who are currently in critical condition, Mina said.
“At 19, he had a lengthy criminal history, to include gun charges, aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and grand theft charges,” Mina said of the accused killer.
The suspect, Keith Melvin Moses is accused of murdering three people and critically wounding two others. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)
The first female murder victim was believed to be an acquaintance of Moses, according to the sheriff. However, his connection to the second woman and her daughter remains unclear. Detectives are trying to determine a motive.
Mina said it is also unclear why Moses specifically targeted the News 13 team, The Post reported.
“The suspect is not saying much right now,” Mina shared with members of the press. “It is unclear if he knew they were news media or not.”
The sheriff noted the news van was not clearly distinguishable as such, although the photographer’s equipment was visible.
“No one in our community — not a mother, not a 9-year-old, certainly not news professionals — should become the victim of gun violence,” Mina said.
The earlier homicide scene had been rendered safe and detectives were engaged in the investigation at the time of the afternoon shootings, he added.
Spectrum News’ parent company, Charter Communications, said in a statement, “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. We remain hopeful that our other colleague who was injured makes a full recovery. This is a terrible tragedy for the Orlando community.”
Reporter Celeste Springer grew emotional during a live broadcast from the hospital, where her colleague remains in critical condition.
My coworker and a 9-year-old baby lost their lives today. Struggling to find the words, but I said what I could here. Thank you to everyone for checking in, and for the kind words of support for our entire team at @MyNews13 pic.twitter.com/0jXrKd6dKV
— Celeste Springer (@CelesteSpringer) February 23, 2023
“This is extremely devastating for all of us, but I’m proud to have such an amazing team backing all of us,” Springer said on air. “We really are such an incredible family here tonight and of course, we’re all praying for our news member who’s in the hospital right now.”
“A couple hours ago before we learned that our news member had passed away, we all sat in a circle here and said a quick prayer and all I can ask for anyone watching at home right now is 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,” she said, tearing up.