23 May, 2024
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Journalist, 9yo girl killed when shooting suspect returns to scene


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A nine-year-old girl and a TV journalist have been fatally shot by a suspected killer who returned to the scene of a shooting in Florida.

A second Spectrum News 13 journalist and the little girl’s mother were also shot and injured by the same gunman, who police said was suspected in the Orlando homicide earlier on Wednesday (local time).

“The suspect is not saying much right now,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. “It is unclear if he knew they were news media or not.”

The suspect is 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses. Police allege he returned to the scene of the shooting and fired at the reporter and photographer, who were in or near a vehicle that did not look like an official media car.

Sheriff Mina said Moses then went to a nearby home, walked inside and shot a mother and her nine-year-old daughter. The girl died, while her mother is in hospital in a critical condition.

The other journalist is also critically ill.

Journalist breaks down reporting on shootings

Source: Twitter/Michael Pegram

Moses was arrested nearby and has been charged with the initial murder. Sheriff Mina said he would be charged in the four other shootings later.

“As far as we know, [Moses] had no connection to the reporters and no connection to the mother and the nine-year-old,” Sheriff Mina said.

“We don’t know why he entered that home.”

The first woman to die was an acquaintance of Moses.

Sheriff Mina said Moses was responsible for all five shootings. He was carrying a handgun when arrested, and police believe that was the weapon used.

“Once they did detain him, homicide detectives who were familiar with him from the previous case said, ‘yeah, that’s our same guy from the earlier homicide’,” he said.

Asked if Moses might have targeted the media crew, Sheriff Mina said it was a possibility.

“We have seen that as a nation and around the world so it’s something we’ll be taking a look at,” he said.

He said it was also possible Moses had mistaken the journalists for police.

A reporter for Orlando TV station WESH 2 told the BBC that she and her camera operator had left the crime scene only moments before the shooting.

“We got a gut feeling” and decided to leave for their own safety, Senait Gebregiorgis said.

Charter Communications, which owns Spectrum News 13, released a statement calling the attack “a terrible tragedy for the Orlando community”.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and the other lives senselessly taken today,” it said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also expressed sadness and condolences about the shootings.

“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 tweeted.

-with agencies

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