Florida shooting spree suspect faces additional murder charges

FILE PHOTO: Handout photo of the suspect in a series of shootings in Orange County, Florida

By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) - A Florida man accused of killing three people, including a television journalist and a 9-year-old girl, in a shooting spree last week will face additional first-degree murder charges, the local sheriff said on Tuesday.

Keith Melvin Moses, 19, who was arrested shortly after the attacks last Wednesday in the Orlando suburbs of Pine Hills, had already been charged with murder in the death of 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin.

Moses will now also face first degree murder charges in the death of Dylan Lyons, a 24-year-old TV reporter, and 9-year-old T'yonna Major, Orange County Sheriff John Mina told a news conference.

Mina said Moses will be charged with the attempted murder of Major's mother and a second TV journalist, Jesse Walden. Both Lyons and Walden were at the scene to cover the initial shooting when the suspect fired at them, police say.

"It was extremely important to bring these charges forward, Mina said. "I remember the night it happened, many of those of you in the news media and of course T'yonna's family wanted justice for their friends and family."

Police have said that Moses was armed with a pistol when taken into custody and has a lengthy criminal record that included arrests on charges of firearms offenses, aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft.

Moses was believed to have been an acquaintance of the first victim, who was shot while sitting in a car with the suspected gunman and another person.

After shooting at the journalists, who were on the scene setting up a live shot, police say, Moses allegedly broke into the Majors' home and opened fire at the girl and her mother.

"As far as we know, he had no connection to the reporters and no connection to the mother or the 9-year old, and we don't know why he entered their home," Mina said following the shootings.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Sandra Maler)