A journalist was shot and killed in Florida on Wednesday while covering a separate fatal shooting earlier that day.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said officers responded to reports of a homicide early Wednesday in Pine Hills, Florida, in which a woman in her 20s was killed. Two reporters from Florida’s Spectrum News 13 were on the scene that afternoon to cover the shooting before authorities received a call about another shooting about 4:05 p.m.
Responding officers found the two journalists with gunshot injuries near their media van. A mother and her 9-year-old daughter were also found shot in a home nearby.
All four were taken to hospitals. The child and one of the journalists died.
A suspect, 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, was arrested nearby and is in custody. Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Moses would be charged in the the killing that happened that morning and that other charges were expected to come.
Mina said it was unclear why the journalists and other victims were targeted that afternoon. Moses was reportedly an acquaintance of the woman shot Wednesday morning. Mina added that Moses had a long criminal history.
“I want to acknowledge what a horrible day this has been for the community and our media partners,” the sheriff said in a press conference.
Other reporters were on the scene at the time of the shooting. Nick Papantonis, a journalist at Florida’s WFTV, said the suspect walked up to the Spectrum News van before shooting into it.
“The man walked by our crew who was working in their car. Our crew ducked,” Papantonis wrote on Twitter. “The man then walked up to the other crew working in their car and opened fire.”
Luana Munoz, a reporter at WESH 2 Orlando, became emotional during a live report on Wednesday night. She spoke about the tight-knit crew of journalists working in the area and said the situation was “really difficult to cover.”
“His fiancée and I were just embracing,” Munoz said during her report. “I will say this, it is nice to see all the media come together in solidarity in this moment. This is every reporter’s absolutely worst nightmare. We go home at night afraid that something like this will occur, and that is what happened here.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists, which monitors acts of violence against the media, said it was appalled at the shooting.
“It is deeply disturbing that a journalist was killed while covering the gun violence that has become a sickening reality of living in the United States,” the group said. “Reporters must be able to cover the news without having to fear for their lives.”