The man accused of killing an Orlando TV reporter was a gang member, officials say


The 19-year-old, who is accused of fatally shooting three people in Florida, including a TV journalist and a 9-year-old girl, is a “known gang member” who had a long criminal record that included arrests for grand larceny and domestic violence Charges, according to officials and his criminal background.

Keith Melvin Moses was taken into custody Wednesday night following the bloodbath in the Pine Hills area, a community of around 66,000 people west of Orlando.

Moses, armed with a Glock 40, allegedly fatally shot a woman who was found around 11 a.m., returned to the scene hours later and opened fire on a TV reporter and a photojournalist before entering a house and killing a woman and her 9th child -year-old daughter shot dead. The first woman, the TV reporter and the 9-year-old died. The girl’s mother and the photojournalist were hospitalized in critical condition.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said the suspect was a “known gang member” but the shootings were unrelated to the gang.

But questions about the motive remain unanswered. Mina said the cause of the shooting is under investigation and the suspect has not been cooperative so far.

The suspect has a long criminal record dating back to the age of 14

Moses had a criminal record dating back to January 2018, when he was 14, and stretching to 2022, according to his Florida Department of Law Enforcement criminal record.

The most serious of his charges are grand larceny, domestic violence and armed robbery.

He was arrested in January 2018 for grand theft of a motor vehicle, which was amended to a trespassing misdemeanor in Orange County Court. He pleaded no appeal and was sentenced to one year of community control in February 2018, which is essentially house arrest. Under community control, a person is restricted to the home outside of work, school, public service hours, and other official-approved activities, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

That same month, Moses was arrested and charged with domestic violence, touching or striking, records show. He pleaded no appeal and was sentenced to one year of concurrent community control.

In 2015, he was arrested for burglary, pleaded not guilty and the case was dropped.

In the years that followed, he was arrested, according to records, after allegedly defying an officer and violating his imposed terms of release. He was re-arrested several times for failing to appear in court for charges.

Moses was arrested in 2018 and charged with robbery with a gun, which was changed in court to attempted robbery with a firearm. He pleaded not guilty and was sentenced to a concurrent “liability-limitation low-risk commitment” conviction.

In 2021, he was arrested for violating his imposed covenants and charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, a misdemeanor. The case was eventually dropped.

According to publicly available data, he was last arrested by Orlando police on April 28 on charges of failing to appear in court.

Ninth District Attorney Monique H. Worrell spoke Thursday about Moses’ juvenile convictions.

“There was a lot of talk, ‘Well, why was he on the street?'” she said. “Florida law prohibits me from discussing the details of a juvenile disposition … but I will say that juvenile dispositions do not qualify as beliefs.”

She explained that under current law, the juvenile court has jurisdiction to sentence a child.

“That means neither the court nor the prosecution have any say in what ultimately the program is or how long a child stays in a program,” Worrell said.

She determined that the suspect’s only adult offense was possession of marijuana. Her office did not press charges against him because if the amount is so small, “the Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not test the substance and that means prosecutors cannot prove the case.”

She said she has proposed to lawmakers to change juvenile justice rules to extend the length of time children can be held in juvenile programs.

How the shootings went

Moses was arrested Wednesday night and charged with initial homicide. Mina said Thursday he was confident the suspect would be charged with more murders.

Moses shot the woman, who was later identified as Nathacha Augustin, 38, found around 11 a.m. as she was in a car with a friend, Mina said Thursday.

According to the warrant, Augustin was hanging out with her friend in the car when the driver saw suspect Moses walking down the street.

The driver told MPs the suspect was “dejected” and offered him a ride.

Moses got into the car behind Augustin, and just 30 seconds later, according to the warrant, the driver heard a “loud bang” and saw Augustin bleeding. The driver pulled over and called the police, and Moses ran from the scene, the warrant said.

The driver said he did not hear an argument between the suspect and the victim and “did not know each other”.

Mina previously said that Moses was an “acquaintance” of Augustine.

Moses then returned to the scene about four hours later around 4 p.m. and shot Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons and photojournalist Jesse Walden, who were in or near a vehicle, Mina said. Lyons was killed and Walden was hospitalized in critical condition on Wednesday night.

Moses then went to a house in the area and shot the mother and daughter. The child, T’yonna Major, died and her mother, who could not be identified, was in critical condition late Wednesday.

It’s not clear what motivated the shooting. Moses appeared to have no direct connection to Augustine, the journalists, or T’yonna and her mother.

Mina said he was identified by witnesses as a suspect in the shootings and video footage also caught him at the scene at the time of the carnage.

He was found by MPs and was uncooperative when taken into custody.

Officers recovered a weapon — the Glock 40 semi-automatic handgun, which was found empty and “hot to the touch” — believed to have been used in the shooting, Mina said. The sheriff said it was not clear how he got hold of the gun.

He said Moses was taken to a hospital and claimed to have been injured, where he struggled with hospital staff and had to be restrained. When he was taken to the sheriff’s office for an interview, he “pretended to be asleep” and was uncooperative. At one point, he offered physical resistance to officers and had to be subdued, Mina said.

Mina said Thursday that the suspect “doesn’t speak to us.”

Moses waived his first court appearance Thursday afternoon and was ordered to remain in jail without bail, have no contact with witnesses and family members, and possess no guns, knives or weapons.

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