A Florida journalist and a 9-year-old girl were shot dead on Wednesday afternoon by a suspect wanted in an earlier fatal shooting at the same scene, police said. Keith Melvin Moses, 19, was arrested for allegedly shooting dead a 20-year-old woman and then returning to the scene to fatally shoot the journalist covering the incident.
According to Orange County Sheriff John Mina, two other people were hurt in the 4 pm shooting on Hialeah Street in Pine Hills, including another News 13 journalist. Moses, a career criminal, will now be charged with the murder of three people. A fourth person, also a News 13 photographer, was shot by Moses, who is in critical condition.
The unimaginable horror reportedly started at 11 am when 19-year-old Moses, the accused shooter, allegedly shot and murdered a 20-year-old lady who was sitting in a car on the street, according to Mina.
Five hours after the initial homicide, Moses allegedly returned to the scene and opened fire on a Spectrum News 13 team that was there covering the incident.
A reporter for News 13 and a photographer who were in or close to their news vehicle were both shot. According to Mina, one of the journalists died and the other is in critical condition.
A short time later, Moses allegedly broke into a home on Hialeah Street and shot a 9-year-old girl and her mother. According to the sheriff, the girl died from her wounds in the hospital while her mother is fighting for her life.
Orange County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the 6100 block of Hialeah Street in Orlando around 11:17 am where they found a 20-year-old woman who had been shot to death.
At 4:05 p.m., they received a second call reporting two further shootings, one close and one at the original scene.
Witnesses said that later on Wednesday, a man approached the news truck and started firing, striking the two reporters. Afterward, the man shot the mother and daughter in a nearby house.
Moses was arrested by police after the subsequent shootings, and it was eventually confirmed that he was also a suspect in the murder of the 20-year-old lady. He was charged with one count of murder for the morning incident, and further charges for the second and third shootings are anticipated, according to Mina.
Sheriff John Mina said that Moses was somehow related to his victim and mentioned that before leaving the scene, homicide detectives had gathered evidence, followed up on interviews, and created leads.
Moses has already been formally charged with the woman's murder from earlier on Wednesday morning and Mina expects additional charges following the later shootings. "At 19, he has a lengthy criminal history, to include gun charges, aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft charges," Mina told Moses.
He was armed with a handgun â which officers believe is the murder weapon â when apprehended by police.
According to Mina, Moses "is not saying much right now" and they are unable to ascertain his motive or whether he targeted the media in particular. "It's unclear why exactly they were targeted, and certainly we're going to look into that," Mina said.
Mina said the News 13 vehicle did not look like a typical news van with TV station markings.
"No one in our community â not a mother, not a nine-year-old, certainly not news professionals should become the victim of gun violence," Mina said.
Homicide detectives and other law enforcement personnel had left the scene of the earlier morning murder by the time gunshots rang out in the afternoon.
According to Spectrum News, it is not yet revealing the identity of the two members of its crew who were shot.
"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," Spectrum's parent company Charter Communications said in a statement Wednesday night. "This is a terrible tragedy for the Orlando community."
The White House has since commented on the shooting via Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
"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.
US Sen. Rick Scott called the shooting "absolutely horrible."