A Florida journalist killed near Orlando on Wednesday was identified as 24-year-old Dylan Lyons.
Lyons, a reporter for Spectrum News 13, was fatally shot on Wednesday afternoon while at the scene of a murder. Officials said Keith Melvin Moses, 19, shot Lyons and a colleague before walking into a nearby home and shooting a woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The girl died.
Lyons’ colleague, Jesse Walden, a photographer, was in critical condition but able to speak with investigators, according to Greg Angel, a station news anchor.
John Mina, the Orange county sheriff, said Moses ambushed Lyons and Walden as they were at the scene of a murder Moses is accused of committing. It was not clear if Moses knew Lyons and Walden were members of the media.
Lyons joined Spectrum News in 2022 as a multimedia journalist, according to his biography on the station website. Born in Philadelphia, he attended the University of Central Florida, where he earned a degree in journalism and political science and anchored the student-run news station.
He worked for a local news station in Gainesville and in 2020 won a best politics/elections series award from the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists, for his coverage of a congressional race. In 2021, he was a finalist for investigative reporting for a story about a woman abusing dogs.
“One of the most impactful stories Dylan had the opportunity to cover was about the murder of a 13-year-old girl,” his biography says. “The story was especially moving for Dylan because it illustrated the importance of ensuring proper protections for the most vulnerable in our society.”
Lyons’ family posted a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral. As of Thursday morning, it had raised a little over $5,500.
“He was an acting father to his niece and nephew who he loved so much,” the page said. “He loved his fiancé and and was a devoted son to his mother and father. Dylan would have been 25 years old in March. He was a happy soul and wonderful person in life. My brother was our baby. He was taken too early from us.”
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, offered condolences on Twitter.
“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 wrote. “Our hearts are also with the other shooting victims today, their families, and the entire community. Too many lives are being ripped apart by gun violence.”
At least 67 journalists were killed around the world in 2022, according to the Committee to Project Journalists. One was Jeff German, an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal who was stabbed outside his home.
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