ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Investigators are not looking for any outstanding suspects connected to a trio of Pine Hills shootings Wednesday that left three dead — including a 38-year-old woman, a Spectrum News 13 reporter and a 9-year-old girl — and two seriously injured, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Thursday.
What You Need To Know
- Sheriff's deputies not seeking other suspects in the shootings Thursday in Pine Hills, sheriff John Mina said
- Two Spectrum News 13 crew members and a mother and her 9-year-old girl were shot Wednesday afternoon in Pine Hills, investigators say
- Reporter Dylan Lyons was killed. Photojournalist Jesse Walden was critically injured. The 9-year-old girl was also killed
- The news crew was in Pine Hills to report on a homicide investigation from earlier in the day, officials say
- A suspect, identified as 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, was taken into custody at the scene and is facing at least one homicide charge
- See the video of Thursday's news conference later in this story
- RELATED: Remembering Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons
Spectrum News 13 identified the reporter who lost his life as 24-year-old Dylan Lyons.
Spectrum News 13 photojournalist Jesse Walden was also critically injured in the shooting, but has been talking to his colleagues and offered his thanks to the community for the support he has received.
Our colleague Jesse Walden is doing as well as can be post-surgery @orlandohealth – he spoke w/ our colleagues @MyNews13 for the story we all wish we never had to tell, airing tonight. (photo shared w/ permission) pic.twitter.com/Ou9L8liX7T— Molly Duerig (@mollyduerig) February 23, 2023
The two Spectrum News 13 employees were at the scene reporting on an Orange County Sheriff's Office investigation into a Pine Hills homicide that happened earlier in the day.
Keith Melvin Moses, 19, was taken into custody after the Wednesday afternoon shootings and has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the morning shooting, Mina said.
Charges stemming from the later shootings are expected to be filed soon, he said.
Deputies had been at the scene earlier in the day to investigate the 11:17 a.m. discovery of a woman, later identified as 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin, who had been found shot to death in the 6100 block of Hialeah Street.
After collecting evidence, Moses was quickly identified as a suspect in the shooting, Mina said.
It was later determined that Augustin was a passenger a vehicle driven by Moses' cousin, who had picked up the 19-year-old to give him a ride.
According to a Thursday court filing, the cousin, who was not identified, saw Moses walking on Hastings Street and offered him a ride because he "seemed down."
"He stated Keith entered the rear passenger side and sat directly behind (redacted)," the filing said. "He stated they were inside the vehicle for approximately thirty seconds, and heard a loud 'bang.' The witness stated he saw (Augustin) with blood on her face and decided to pull over at 6114 Hialeah Street."
The cousin called 911, but Moses had allegedly fled on foot by the time authorities arrived at the scene, the filing said.
He told investigators that to his knowledge, neither he nor Augustin had "any problems with anyone" that would explain the shooting.
"The witness stated during those thirty seconds he did not hear any argument between Keith and (Augustin) and they did not know each other," the filing said.
The cousin immediately identified Moses as the alleged shooter and gave investigators the 19-year-old's personal information.
Deputies had cleared the scene of the morning shooting, but returned five hours later when the Spectrum News 13 crew, and a woman and child in a nearby home, were attacked.
Moses was located in the area and was taken into custody, Mina said.
"We're not looking for anyone else," he said at a news conference Thursday while giving an update of the investigation. "He's the guy. He's our suspect."
When deputies detained Moses after the afternoon shootings, they say he was found in possession of a Glock 40 semiautomatic handgun, Mina said, adding that the weapon appeared to have been recently fired because it was still hot.
At the time, Moses was taken to the hospital because he told deputies he was injured and could not breathe, Mina said.
At the hospital, deputies said Moses had to be restrained when he started to fight with employees. When investigators tried to interrogate him, he initially pretended to be asleep, but later began physically resisting and had to be restrained again, Mina said.
At the news conference Thursday, Mina, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Bishop Derrick L. McRae and State Attorney Monique Worrell provided updates on the status of the investigation and addressed ways county and community leaders plan to double down on efforts to reduce gun violence.
On Thursday morning, the Orange County Sheriff's Office identified the 9-year-old girl who was shot and killed as T'yonna Major.
Authorities did not identify the woman who had been shot in the house with Major.
The shootings involving the Spectrum News 13 crew and the woman and child were reported at about 4:05 p.m.
In response to the shooting, Spectrum News released the following statement Wednesday night:
"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.”
At Wednesday evening's news conference, Mina said: "At 19, he (Moses) has a lengthy criminal history, to include gun charges, aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft charges."
Investigators were still trying to determine what motive, if any, had precipitated the three shootings, he said.
"It's unclear why exactly they were targeted, and certainly we're going to look into that," Mina said.
"(Moses) was an acquaintance of the woman this morning, but as far as we know, (he) had no connection to the reporters and no connection to the mother and the 9-year-old," he added later.
Gun Violence Discussion
On Thursday, Demings said community leaders had gathered to discuss ways to curb gun violence in Orange County.
"We are committed to utilizing our funding — your tax dollars — in an appropriate way to address these issues going forward," he said.
Demings said the county is reconstituting its Citizens Safety Task Force to try to revisit recommendations it had made to try to prevent gun violence. Among those, he said, is continued advocacy in Tallahassee for "commonsense" gun laws.
By Wednesday evening, news of the shooting in Pine Hills made its way to Washington, where White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said her thoughts were with those involved.
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.— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) February 23, 2023
Following news of the shooting, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd released the following statement to offer condolences to the family members and loved ones of those involved.
"We are stunned and heartbroken hearing the news out of Orange County that three people were fatally shot, and two others are fighting for their lives, at the hands of a violent criminal who was on a murderous rampage today. A 9-year-old child and a Spectrum 13 journalist lost their lives during these senseless and brutal acts, along with another victim who was killed this morning. Our prayers are with all of the families affected by this horrific event.
We would like the news media who report in Polk County to know that if you ever find yourselves in a situation or an area where you feel unsafe, to please call us and we will send deputies out to your location to protect you. We appreciate the jobs that you all do, and we will always be here to ensure you are safe while doing them."
We send our condolences to @MyNews13 and all families impacted by this tragedy.— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) February 23, 2023
We value the relationships we have with our media partners as we all serve our communities together providing critical information. https://t.co/CI4WHWNHY0
Gunned down doing a tough and often thankless job. @MyNews13 and all news crews you are in my heart tonight. I need you to know we care and appreciate the hard work you do and the sacrifices you make. This is a tragedy that should never have happened https://t.co/8s9x49UF5h— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) February 23, 2023
From Sheriff Dennis Lemma: It is hard to put into words our sorrow over a woman and child, and a @MyNews13 reporter doing his job, all killed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends, families, and media partners. We continue to pray for the wounded, fighting for their lives.— Seminole County S.O. (@SeminoleSO) February 23, 2023
Orange County Sheriff's Office tweet of Keith Melvin Moses' arrest
Warning: This video contains language that is not appropriate for children and many may find it objectionable.
This is the moment OCSO deputies apprehended Keith Moses, who shot five people on Feb. 22, killing three: 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin, 9-year-old T’yonna Major and @MyNews13 reporter Dylan Lyons. pic.twitter.com/KS7hx1Q2V2— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) February 23, 2023