A television news crew was shot in Florida while reporting on a similar crime on Wednesday, an incident that rattled broadcast journalists across the country.
The journalist, 24-year-old Dylan Colby Lyons, worked for Charter Communications’ Spectrum News 13, a regional cable news channel in Orlando, and was covering an early morning shooting that claimed the life of a 20-year-old woman.
Around 4 p.m. local time, a gunman opened fire on Lyons and his photojournalist while they were at the scene of the earlier crime. The gunman then entered a nearby home and opened fire on a woman and her 9-year-old child, according to local police.
Lyons and the 9-year-old were killed in the shooting. Lyons’ photographer and the mother of the child were taken to a local hospital, where their conditions remain critical, police said.
Spectrum News 13 has not yet named Lyons or his photographer as of Wednesday evening, and other news organizations in the Orlando market have shown similar restraint. His name was provided by two sources who spoke with The Desk on anonymity, including one at his station, who said Lyons’ girlfriend and immediately family members have been notified about his passing.
Late Wednesday evening, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) issued a statement condemning the violence against the news crew.
“Journalists play a vital role bringing breaking news to the public, and often putting their lives in danger in the process,” Curtis LeGeyt, the CEO of NAB, said. “This is a reminder of the risks that members of the press face in their efforts to inform the public, and we stand with our colleagues in condemning all acts of violence against journalists.”
A spokesperson for Spectrum News called the incident a “terrible tragedy for the Orlando community.”
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and the other lives senselessly taken today,” the spokesperson said. “Our thoughts are with our employees’ families, friends and co-workers during this very difficult time. We remain hopeful that our other colleague who was injured makes a full recovery.”
Lyons worked at a number of television stations in Florida prior to joining Spectrum News 13 in July 2022. His previous jobs included an anchor and reporter role at WCJB (Channel 20, ABC) in Gainesville as well as an internship at WKMG (Channel 6, CBS) in Orlando.
He was the president of the local student chapter of the Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) from August 2017 to April 2019 while attending school at the University of Central Florida, where he earned a degree in journalism and political science.
Dan Shelley, the president and CEO of RTDNA, expressed his own condolences in a tweet Wednesday evening.
“[Dylan] was one of two of the station’s journalists shot covering a previous crime in a residential area,” Shelley wrote. “Sending thoughts of peace and comfort to their families, friends and the other victims.”