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9-year-old girl, TV news reporter among 3 killed in Orlando shootings

( CBS )

A 9-year-old girl and a local TV news reporter were among three people killed and two others wounded in shootings in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday, authorities and the TV station involved said.

Keith Melvin Moses, 19, has been arrested in connection with the shootings, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said in a news conference.

Moses allegedly shot and killed a woman in her 20s on Wednesday morning, Mina said, and police were called later in the day to two additional shootings near the scene. Mina said Moses was formally charged for the murder from the morning and authorities expect additional charges for the four shootings in the afternoon.

At one home, a 9-year-old child and her mother were shot, Mina said, while at another scene nearby, crew members from Spectrum News 13 covering the previous shooting were shot near their vehicle.

The station said early Thursday that "the reporter who lost his life as Dylan Lyons. Spectrum News 13 photographer Jesse Walden was critically injured."

Lyons was 24 years old. Spectrum News 1 posted a tribute to Lyons, writing that he moved to Florida "to do what he loved — anchoring and reporting the news." "He took his job very seriously. He loved his career. He loved what he did," said Spectrum Sports 360 reporter and friend, Josh Miller, in the company's statement. "He loved the community, telling the stories of people, reporting on the news, and he was just passionate about what he did."

Mina and his office weighed in on Twitter:

We are grieving with our media partners at @MyNews13 over the tragic loss of Dylan Lyons, shot and killed while reporting from a homicide scene. @SheriffMina: "No one in our community, not a 9 year old child or a media professional should become of victim of gun violence." — Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) February 23, 2023

Mina said the deadly rampage began at 11 a.m. local time when deputies responded to a shooting and discovered a woman in her 20s who had been fatally shot.

Moses knew that victim, Mina said. Then, shortly after 4 p.m., deputies received another call regarding two additional shootings near one another.

In one location, deputies found a reporter and photographer for Spectrum News 13 — who were on the scene to cover the homicide that had occurred earlier that morning — shot in or near their news vehicle, Mina said.

Mina said it was unclear whether the Spectrum News 13 crew members were targeted, or if the suspect even knew whether they were with the media.

After being taken to a hospital, one of the News 13 employees died from their wounds, Mina said.

Authorities also discovered a woman and her 9-year-old daughter inside a nearby home who had been shot. Mina said the 9-year-old child died at the hospital, while her mother was continuing to "fight for her life."

"It is unclear why the suspect entered that home," Mina said. The sheriff said they didn't yet know if the suspect had any connection to the news crew, or the mother and daughter.

Mina added that Moses has a lengthy criminal record that includes gun charges and charges for aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft.

Greg Angel, an anchor with Spectrum News 13, wrote on Twitter: "Our hearts are heavy. We lost an incredible young journalist and human. Too young."

Life is fragile. We were just talking to our colleagues - friends - this afternoon. Life was normal. And now, life is not normal. — Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) February 23, 2023

Later Wednesday evening, Angel tweeted an update about the second colleague injured in the shooting. "They have been able to speak with investigators and colleagues. Great sign. But lots of procedures and healing to come," Angel said.

"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," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted Wednesday night.

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