Dylan Lyons, a reporter for Orlando-based Spectrum News 13 was tragically murdered on Wednesday, February, 22, while covering an earlier homicide in Pine Hills, Florida. Because of the circumstances that led to his murder, the Lyons family may have a legitimate case for a wrongful death claim, due to negligent security.
Circumstances Surrounding the Murder Spree
Lyons, 24, and fellow Spectrum News 13 photojournalist Jesse Walden were at the scene of an earlier homicide when the attack took place. At around 11:20am, Orange County Sheriff Deputies found 38-year-old Natacha Augustin shot to death in the 6100 block of Hialeah Street. According to law enforcement reports, 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses, who is accused of the Augustin murder, returned to the scene, approached the news vehicle Lyons and Walden were sitting in, and shot them both, killing Lyons. Moses then walked up a nearby street, entered a house, and shot a woman and her 9-year-old daughter. The young girl, identified as T’yonna Major, would later die from her wounds.
Questions Remain to Be Answered
Due to conditions at the Hialeah Street crime scene, the family of Dylan Lyons may have a case for a wrongful death claim, due to negligent or inadequate security. Many questions still remain to be answered regarding conditions surrounding security at the site. The biggest? Why was Dylan Lyons murdered and his co-worker shot at the site of a crime scene where an investigation was taking place? So far, there are no answers. But the fact that an armed suspect was allowed to access the scene where he had murdered an innocent individual just hours prior seems to indicate there was a severe breakdown in security, to say the least.
Lyons Had Ties to West Palm Beach Area
Born in Philadelphia, Dylan Lyons attended Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and graduated from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2016 where he was executive producer of Dreyfoos School of the Arts Today, a daily video news broadcast.
Lyons’ love of journalism brought him to the University of Central Florida, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science in 2019. He went on to get a master’s in public administration and criminal justice in 2020.
Dylan Lyon’s Family Devastated
Engaged to be married to his fiancée Casey Lynn, family members remember Dylan Lyons as a talented actor and dedicated family-oriented person. As a child, Dyan Lyons starred in “Enviropals.” Launched in 2009, the show focused on “empowering young viewers to be good custodians of Earth as they learn the importance of keeping our planet clean and healthy.” According to his siter, Rachel, he was much more than just an award-winning local reporter.
“He was an acting father to his niece and nephew who he loved so much. He loved his fiancé and was a devoted son to his mother and father. Dylan would have been 25 years old in March. He was a happy soul and wonderful person in life. My brother was our baby. He was taken too early from us.”
Driver Had Stopped to Offer Moses a Ride
According to an arrest warrant, Augustin was picked up at her home by a male friend at approximately 10:30am. After driving around for 30 minutes, they noticed Moses walking alone. The driver told deputies Moses “looked down,” so he offered the suspect a ride. Sitting in the back of the car directly behind Augustin, Moses shot her, then fled the scene. The driver then called 911. Moses was apprehended and charged with murder from the first incident involving the shooing of Natacha Augustin. Authorities expect more charges to be filed in the shooing of the other four victims. Moses has a lengthy criminal record, and has previously faced charges including aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft.
Who Should Be Held Accountable?
Figuring out fault and liability in Dylan Lyon’s death will take time to sort out, because so many entities are involved, including the town of Pine Hills, many law enforcement agencies, and local property/business owners. At any rate, under Florida premises liability law, property owners have a duty to provide reasonable security of their premises to reduce the opportunity for criminals to engage in violent acts such as shootings, robberies, rape, or murder. When they fail to do so, and a violent act occurs that results in severe injury or death, the surviving family members may be able to file a lawsuit against the company for negligent security.
Notice: As a personal injury firm, we frequently provide legal analysis and opinion on news stories in the hope that the family and friends of the victims may gain some valuable insight into our theories of negligence surrounding the available facts. Respectfully, our hearts and thoughts are with those who have suffered a catastrophic injury or death.
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