Reporter Gunned Down at Murder Scene Is IDed

Spectrum News 13's Dylan Lyons was fatally shot in Florida while reporting on previous shooting
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2023 9:10 AM CST
He Was Reporting From Murder Scene as Alleged Killer Returned
This photo of Dylan Lyons comes from a GoFundMe campaign raising funds to pay for his funeral.   (GoFundMe)

Dylan Lyons was a passionate young journalist who at 24 had already been honored by the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists for his 2020 election reporting on the 3rd Congressional District. "He took his job very seriously," according to colleague Josh Miller. "He loved his career. He loved what he did." It ultimately cost him his life. Spectrum News 13 has identified Lyons, a University of Central Florida graduate and Philadelphia native, as the journalist who was fatally shot while at the scene of a homicide in Florida's Orange County on Wednesday. Photojournalist Jesse Walden, who was also shot, remains critically injured in the hospital, though he's been able to speak with investigators.

Crew members from WFTV Channel 9 tried to render aid at the scene in Pine Hills. In a tweet, per the Orlando Sentinel, WFTV's Nick Papantonis said the crew members "ducked" when they saw a man walk by their vehicle around 4pm. "The man then walked up to the other crew working in their car and opened fire." Sheriff John Mina said it was unclear if Lyons and Walden were targeted as media members, as their vehicle was unmarked. The 19-year-old accused gunman, suspected in the earlier homicide of a 38-year-old acquaintance, continued to a nearby house, where he fatally shot a 9-year-old girl and critically injured her mother, with whom he had no known relationship, Mina said, per NBC News.

Media members have been praised for reporting on the tragedy despite their own trauma. "This is every reporter's absolute worst nightmare," WESH reporter Luana Munoz said in a report from the hospital, fighting back tears. "We go home at night afraid that something like this will occur." "Please, please say a prayer tonight for our co-worker who is in critical condition," added Spectrum News 13 reporter Celeste Springer. "And while you're at it, please say a prayer for every victim of gun violence." Lyons worked at Gainesville's WCJB before joining Spectrum News 13 in July. His bio says "he's honored to have the unique privilege of being a voice for the voiceless and making sure all communities and stories are treated fairly and equally." A GoFundMe for Lyons' funeral costs had raised $20,000 as of Thursday morning. (More shooting death stories.)

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