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9-year-old and TV journalist killed in Florida after suspect returns to scene of earlier fatal shooting, sheriff says

A suspect in the death of a woman found shot earlier Wednesday returned to the scene and shot two members of a news crew and two other people, the Orange County sheriff said.
/ Source: NBC News

Florida man suspected of killing a woman Wednesday returned to the scene hours later and shot four other people, killing a 9-year-old girl and a television news journalist, authorities said.

A Spectrum News 13 crew was in Pine Hills shortly after 4 p.m. covering the slaying of a woman in her 20s who had been found shot in the area around 11 a.m., Sheriff John Mina said.

Keith Melvin Moses, 19, the suspect in the woman’s killing, returned and fired at the reporter and a photojournalist who were in or near a vehicle, Mina said.

The reporter, identified by Spectrum News 13 early Thursday morning as Dylan Lyons, died from his injuries, Mina said. The photojournalist, who the outlet identified as Jesse Walden, was critically injured.

Moses then went to a nearby home, walked inside and shot a woman and her 9-year-old daughter, the sheriff said. The girl died. The mother was critically injured.

The suspect was arrested in the area and is being charged in the initial slaying, Mina said. Moses will be charged in the four other shootings later, Mina said.

“The suspect is not saying much right now,” Mina said. “It is unclear if he knew they were news media or not.”

Mina said there is no apparent connection between Moses and the mother and the child who were shot Wednesday afternoon.

The woman killed earlier was an acquaintance of the suspect, he said.

Moses, “as far as we know, had no connection to the reporters and no connection to the mother and the 9-year-old,” Mina said. “We don’t know why he entered that home.”

Moses is responsible for all five shootings, Mina said. He was armed with a handgun, Mina said, and investigators believe it was the weapon involved.

The first slaying happened inside a vehicle, and detectives had developed Moses as a suspect and were following leads when the others were shot, Mina said.

“Once they did detain him, homicide detectives who were familiar with him from the previous case said, ‘Yeah, that’s our same guy from the earlier homicide,’” Mina said.

It was not immediately clear whether Moses had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The suspect has a lengthy criminal history, including gun charges, aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft charges, Mina said.

In a statement, Spectrum News called the violence a tragedy. The company said a photographer remained hospitalized.

“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,” it said.

Spectrum News 13 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, a Democrat who represents Orlando and Pine Hills, said his thoughts were with the victims and their families.

“Our CHILDREN are DYING as my fellow leaders stall and offer nothing but thoughts and prayers. I will fight until this is not our normal,” Frost tweeted.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., called the violence “absolutely horrible.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also expressed sadness and 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,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.

Pine Hills is a community of around 66,000 just outside of Orlando, to the west of the city.

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