A Florida man suspected of killing a woman Wednesday returned to the scene hours later and shot four other people, killing a 9-year-old girl and a television news journalist, the Orange County sheriff said.
A Spectrum News 13 crew was in Pine Hills shortly after 4 p.m. covering the slaying of a woman in her 20s who had been found shot in the area around 11 a.m., Sheriff John Mina said.
Keith Melvin Moses, 19, the suspect in the woman’s killing, returned and fired at the reporter and a photographer who were in or near a vehicle, one of whom later died, Mina said.
Moses then went to a nearby home, walked inside and shot a woman and her 9-year-old daughter, the sheriff said. The girl died.
He was arrested in the area and is being charged in the initial slaying, Mina said. Moses will be charged in the four other shootings later, Mina said.
“The suspect is not saying much right now,” Mina said. “It is unclear if he knew they were news media or not.”
Mina said there is no apparent connection between Moses and the mother and the child who were shot Wednesday afternoon.
The woman killed earlier was an acquaintance of the suspect, he said.
Moses, “as far as we know, had no connection to the reporters and no connection to the mother and the 9-year-old,” Mina said. “We don’t know why he entered that home.”
Moses is responsible for all five shootings, Mina said. He was armed with a handgun, Mina said, and investigators believe it was the weapon involved.
The child’s mother and the other journalist who was shot were in critical condition, Mina said.
The first slaying happened inside a vehicle, and detectives had developed Moses as a suspect and were following leads when the others were shot, Mina said.
“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,’” Mina said.
It was not immediately clear whether Moses had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Spectrum News 13 was not releasing the names of the two crew members Wednesday evening, it said in an article on its website. The station did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement, Spectrum News called the violence a tragedy. The company said a photographer remained hospitalized.
“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,” it said.
U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, a Democrat who represents Orlando and Pine Hills, said his thoughts were with the victims and their families.
“Our CHILDREN are DYING as my fellow leaders stall and offer nothing but thoughts and prayers. I will fight until this is not our normal,” Frost tweeted.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., called the violence “absolutely horrible.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also expressed sadness and condolences.
“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,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.
Pine Hills is a community of around 66,000 just outside of Orlando, to the west of the city.