A central Florida television journalist and a little girl were fatally shot Wednesday afternoon near the scene of a fatal shooting from earlier in the day, authorities said.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said during a news conference that they’ve detained Keith Melvin Moses, 19, who they believe is responsible for both shootings in the Orlando-area neighborhood.
Besides the Spectrum News 13 journalist and the 9-year-old girl, a TV crewmember and the girl’s mother were wounded during the second shooting. They were in critical condition at a local hospital.
“I want to acknowledge what a horrible day this has been for our community and our media partners,” Mina told a room full of reporters. “I work closely with all of you and know many of you and know the very difficult job that you do and also the very important job that you do for our community and for law enforcement. No one in our community — not a mother, not a 9-year-old and certainly not news professionals — should become the victim of gun violence in our community.”
Mina said they don’t immediately have a motive for any of the shootings.
“So, the suspect is not saying much right now,” Mina said. “It is unclear if he knew they were news media or not. We’re still trying to work all that out.”
Mina said the News 13 vehicle did not look like a typical news van with TV station markings.
Deputies had initially responded to the Pine Hills area, just northwest of Orlando, on Wednesday morning following reports of a woman in her 20s being shot.
Moses “was an acquaintance of the woman this morning, but as far as we know, had no connection to the reporters and no connection to the mother and the 9-year-old,” Mina said.
According to witnesses, a man approached the news vehicle later Wednesday and opened fire, hitting the two reporters. The man then walked to a nearby home and shot the mother and daughter.
WFTV crews, who were also reporting on the morning shooting, tried to give medical aid to the Spectrum 13 journalists.
Mina said Moses is already facing a murder charge for the initial victim, and charges are expected soon for the other four victims. Moses’ criminal history includes gun charges, as well as aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft offenses, the sheriff 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 said on Twitter.
Spectrum News 13 was not identifying the crew members who were involved in the shooting, according to a story on the TV station’s website.
“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 in this country,” Spectrum 13 journalist Celeste Springer said during her live on-air report.
Worldwide 40 journalists were reported killed last year, plus another two this year before Wednesday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Only one of those was in the United States.
Jeff German, who covered politics and corruption for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found dead outside of his home in September after being stabbed multiple times. Former Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, who had been a frequent subject of German’s reporting, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
In 2015, Virginia reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed during their live TV broadcast for CBS affiliate WDBJ7. The suspect, a former reporter for the TV station, died by suicide during the law enforcement search for him.
Governor Ron DeSantis Makes Eight Judicial Appointments
Mark Skipper, of Maitland, to serve as Judge on the Orange County Court
Skipper has worked as the Sole Practitioner for the Law Office of Mark A Skipper P.A. since 2007. Previously, he served as a Senior Attorney for the Florida Department of Children and Families. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his juris doctor from Nova Southeastern University. Skipper fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Sandor.
Celia Dorn, of Kissimmee, to serve as Judge on the Osceola County Court
Dorn has worked as a Staff Attorney for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP since 2021. Previously, she was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Kissimmee. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and her juris doctor from the University of Florida. Dorn fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Arendas.
Juna Pulayya, of St. Cloud, to serve as Judge on the Osceola County Court
Pulayya has served as a General Magistrate for the Ninth Judicial Circuit since 2022. Previously, he was an Attorney for JMP Law, P.A. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his juris doctor from Florida A&M University. Pulayya fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Epperson.
Carlos Gamez, of Coral Gables, to serve as Judge on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court
Gamez has served as a County Court Judge for Miami-Dade County since 2020. Previously, he served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and his juris doctor from the University of Miami. Gamez fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Aponte.
Christine Hernandez, of Miami, to serve as Judge on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court
Hernandez has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida since 2018. Previously, she served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and her juris doctor from the University of Miami. Hernandez fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Bailey.
Jennifer Hochstadt, of Aventura, to serve as Judge on the Miami-Dade County Court
Hochstadt has served as an Assistant County Attorney in the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office since 2015. Previously, she was a Law Clerk for United States District Court Judge Martinez in the Southern District of Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and her juris doctor from the University of Miami. Hochstadt fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge González-Marqués.
Jason Reding Quiñones, of Coral Gables, to serve as Judge on the Miami-Dade County Court
Quiñones has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida since 2018. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his juris doctor from Florida International University. Quiñones fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Bandín.
Governor Ron DeSantis Sends Additional Florida National Guard and Florida State Guard to Assist Texas
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida is deploying members of the Florida National Guard (FLNG) and members of the Florida State Guard will be deployed to assist Texas in its efforts to stop the invasion at the southern border. Florida is offering up to a battalion of National Guard members (approximately 1,000 soldiers) to Texas, who will be deployed based on Texas’ needs. For more information about the announcement, click here.
These deployments are in addition to the more than 90 officers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that are currently deployed to the border. Additional law enforcement resources are standing by and ready to deploy as requested by Texas state officials. In December, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data showed that more than 302,000 illegal immigrants were encountered attempting to cross the southern border – the highest month ever recorded.
“States have every right to defend their sovereignty and we are pleased to increase our support to Texas as the Lone Star State works to stop the invasion across the border,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Our reinforcements will help Texas to add additional barriers, including razor wire along the border. We don’t have a country if we don’t have a border.”
“This is not a new mission for us. For several years we have supported border security missions in Texas, to include both federal and state deployments,” said Major General John D. Haas, The Adjutant General of Florida. “Last spring the Florida National Guard was one of the first in the nation to deploy rotations of soldiers to support Operation Lone Star in Texas, and we have proudly and readily supported our own state’s efforts in similar roles here in Florida.”
“The Florida State Guard is prepared to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with state agency partners in direct support of our brothers and sisters in Texas grappling with an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration along their border,” said Florida State Guard Director Mark Thieme. “The Florida State Guard is postured to deliver rapid emergency response, public safety operations and humanitarian assistance — wherever the need arises.”
Since 2021, Florida has provided direct law enforcement and military assistance to Texas, including FLNG, which supported the Texas Military Department through mission sets including static observation points, roving patrols and engineer assistance with obstacle improvement. FHP has made contact with nearly 150,000 illegal aliens, conducted over 27,000 traffic stops, resulting in 2,102 Human Smuggling or Human Trafficking charges with 2,278 overall arrests.
FDLE has sent rotations of officers to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety with arrests of violent felony suspects including gang members. Suspects were arrested on various Texas state charges including human smuggling, burglary, firearms, smuggling of persons, smuggling of persons with a firearm, child endangerment, escape from federal custody and possession of controlled substance. FWC has deployed a total of 540 FWC personnel, 525 four-wheel drive patrol trucks and 24 vessels.
In Fiscal Year 2023, CBP recorded 2.5 million encounters – surpassing last year’s record. This includes 169 illegal immigrants on the terror watch list attempting to cross the southern border. Since Biden took office, more than 10 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border, including more than 1.7 million known gotaways. In December alone, roughly 260 million lethal doses of fentanyl were seized at the border.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ 2024 State of the State Address
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his State of the State address to the joint legislative session from the Florida House of Representatives chamber in Tallahassee.
Watch the full address here.
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