A young man who allegedly killed three people and badly wounded two others missed his first appearance in court on Thursday because of what his attorney described as “mental health,” records show. It is unclear if this will complicate Keith Melvin Moses’ competency to face charges, or if this will prefigure an insanity defense. The 19-year-old pleaded not guilty through his attorney on Friday.
For now, he’s only charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Nathacha Augustin, 38. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida claim he killed her shortly after she and a man offered him a ride Wednesday morning. Investigators managed to identify Moses as the suspect. But authorities claim he returned to the scene hours after the shooting. He allegedly opened fire on two employees for Spectrum News 13, a news outlet in Central Florida. Reporter Dylan Lyons, 24, died. Photographer Jesse Walden survived in critical condition.
After that, Moses headed toward nearby Harrington Street, took a left, walked into a house and shot both 9-year-old T’Yonna Major and the child’s mother, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina. Authorities soon detained Moses nearby, and he was found with a handgun, the lawman said.
“She was a light to everyone that knew her,” T’Yonna’s father Tokiyo Major said in a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the funeral, memorial, and therapy. “She was everything to us. She was a great student at the top of her 3rd grade class and reading at a 5th grade level. She was outgoing as well as an amazing gymnast. As her teachers would say ‘The next Gabby Douglas.'”
T’Yonna’s mother has been identified as Brandi Major.
The motive for these shootings remains unclear. Only the affidavit for Augustin’ death is available. Authorities on Thursday said more charges will be filed.
According to an affidavit in Augustin’s death, she was riding around with a man on Wednesday morning. Her name is absent from the oft-redacted document, but details became clearer in context of the sheriff’s office posts and Mina’s press conference. This man told investigators he and Augustin found Moses walking north on Hastings Street. Moses “seemed down,” and they offered him a ride. Moses got in the back, behind Augustin, this man said. According to documents, the driver did not hear Moses and Augustin argue, and they did not know one another. But after 30 seconds, the driver heard a “bang” and saw blood on the woman’s face. He pulled over at 6114 Hialeah Street.
“The witness stated he did not have any problems with anyone, and to his knowledge [redacted] did not have any problems with anyone,” authorities said. “The witness stated they were not being followed.”
Investigators said they arrived at the scene at about 11:17 a.m. to find the white Hyundai at 6114 Hialeah Street with the driver, passenger, and rear driver doors open. They said they discovered Augustin on her stomach outside of the passenger side. She had been shot on the left side of her chin, they said. A detective claimed to find one spent shell casing in the vehicle. The driver cooperated in the investigation, giving buccal swabs, hand swabs for gunshot residue, and even his clothing which carried Augustin’s blood. He identified Moses as the suspect, saying the suspect left the scene running.
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