Journalist killed in Orlando shooting identified as Spectrum News reporter Dylan Lyons
A Florida TV reporter shot dead while covering an earlier homicide in Pine Hills, Orlando, on Wednesday afternoon has been named by his employer as Dylan Lyons.
The 24-year-old journalist was killed when the suspected gunman – since apprehended, charged with murder and named as Keith Melvin Moses, 19 – returned to the scene of the earlier killing and fired into the Spectrum News 13 van, shooting Lyons dead and leaving photographer Jesse Walden with critical injuries.
The suspect then entered a nearby house and shot a mother and daughter, killing the nine-year-old and leaving the parent injured.
“I want to acknowledge what a horrible day this has been for our community and our media partners,” Orange County sheriff John Mina said during a press conference on Wednesday evening.
Celeste Springer, a colleague of Lyons, bravely spoke on air just hours after the tragedy and said: “This is extremely devastating for all of us. But I am proud to have such an amazing team backing all of us.
“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.”
Spectrum News itself issued a statement that read: "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.”
In a moving tribute to Lyons, his Spectrum News colleagues explained that he had been born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but had moved to the Sunshine State to study at the University of Central Florida, beginning his media career in Gainesville after graduating.
“He took his job very seriously,” remembered his friend Josh Miller, a sports reporter with the network.
Coworker of shot Orlando journalists: "Please, say a prayer tonight for our coworker who is in critical condition. And while you're at it, please say a prayer for every victim of gun violence in this country."@CelesteSpringer you have so much strength.
— Rachel Louise Just (@RLJnews) February 23, 2023
A dedicated and motivated reporter, Dylan was shot and killed while working at the scene of a homicide. Spectrum News remembers our fallen colleague. https://t.co/264x3y8Lup
— Spectrum News 13 (@MyNews13) February 23, 2023
“He loved his career. He loved what he did. He loved the community, telling the stories of people, reporting on the news, and he was just passionate about what he did.
“When he was out of the news station, he was still talking about how much he wanted to succeed at his job, talking about how much he loved Orlando.”
Dylan Lyons had already received an award from the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists and been a finalist for another, his obituary records.