Dylan Lyons had a promising future in journalism even before he started working in a newsroom.
According to Rick Brunson, a senior instructor in the journalism school at University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media, Lyons demonstrated leadership qualities and a willingness to teach others while he was still a student.
Brunson taught Lyons in two journalism classes during his sophomore year and also worked closely with him as the advisor of the student chapter of the Radio Television Digital News Association, where Lyons served as president.
Brunson observed Lyons interacting with other students on campus, bringing them along to help them improve their videography skills and mentor them on camera techniques and shot set-ups.
Lyons wasn’t just focused on his own academic success, but was inclusive of those around him and had a friendly demeanor that made people enjoy being in his company.
Dylan Lyons, a 24-year-old journalist working for Spectrum News 13, was fatally shot while on a news report with colleague Jesse Walden at the site of a previous homicide that occurred in Pine Hills, Florida.
The shooting occurred around 4 p.m., and while Walden was critically injured, he survived. After killing Lyons, the alleged shooter, 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, went to a nearby house and shot two more individuals, killing 9-year-old T’yonna Major and critically injuring her mother.
Moses is also suspected in the earlier homicide of 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin, who was found dead in her car earlier that day.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina stated in a press conference that Moses knew Augustin, but it’s unclear if he had any connection to Lyons, T’yonna, or the other victims. Mina expressed his frustration that gun violence has impacted innocent individuals in their community, including a child and a member of the media.
Lyons was originally from Philadelphia but moved to Florida to attend the University of Central Florida, where he obtained degrees in journalism and political science.
He joined Spectrum News 13 in July and was dedicated to ensuring all communities and stories were treated fairly and equally.
Lyons previously worked at WCJB-TV, where his reporting on the 2020 Florida congressional race was recognized as the best politics or elections reporting series by the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists.
According to Dylan Lyon’s Spectrum News 13 bio, when he wasn’t working, he enjoyed trying out various restaurants and cuisines in the Orlando area, particularly in Winter Park, Winter Garden, Celebration, and Downtown Orlando with his family and dog.
In a tribute on the Spectrum News 13 website, friend and colleague Josh Miller described Lyons as someone who took his job very seriously and was passionate about it.
He loved reporting on the news and telling people’s stories, and he was devoted to his career and community. Lyons’ family established a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for his funeral, and they described him as a caring uncle to his niece and nephew, a loving fiancé, and a devoted son to his parents.
Charter Communications, the parent company of News 13, expressed deep sorrow over the loss of their colleague and the other victims in a statement posted on Twitter, and they offered condolences to Lyons’ family, friends, and co-workers.
The motive for the shooting remains unknown, and the staff at the station continued to report live even as they mourned their colleague’s loss.
In a statement on-air, reporter Celeste Springer expressed the team’s devastation but also their pride in their amazing colleagues and asked for prayers for their injured co-worker and all victims of gun violence.