Photographer critically injured in Florida shooting ID’d as Jesse Walden

The Florida news photographer who was critically wounded in a shooting that claimed the life of another journalist was alert and talking in the hospital on Thursday, according to loved ones.

Jesse Walden, 29, was identified by his employer Spectrum News 13 as the photojournalist who was gunned down alongside colleague Dylan Lyons, 24, by 19-year-old Melvin Moses while reporting on an earlier shooting.

Walden on Thursday remained in the hospital, where loved ones said he was alert and able to communicate, news station WESH reported.

Walden is a recent Sunshine State transplant who also worked for WOFL-TV, a Fox station in Orlando, and previously worked for KSTU in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He described his career on his LinkedIn page as “using visual storytelling to show human connection.”

The Florida TV station photographer critically wounded in a shooting has been identified as Jesse Walden.

Fellow journalists offered prayers for Walden, who also had a previous stint working in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 2016 to 2020.

“Please say a prayer for Jesse Walden this morning,” WOFL reporter Amanda McKenzie wrote on Twitter. “I had the opportunity to work with Jesse last year and I am hoping that he pulls through and recovers.”

Journalist Ryan Elijah wrote: “Say a prayer for Jesse Walden this morning. The News 13 photojournalist was critically injured in the shooting that killed his colleague Dylan Lyons Wednesday.”

Wounded photographer Jesse Walden
Walden was at the scene of a homicide when he was shot and reporter Dylan Lyons was killed.

Walden’s professional portfolio on YouTube contains scores of videos, including in Orlando, where he recently covered stories about a millennial buying her parents’ house and the homeless on Christmas.

He shared his tips on how to get hired in media in a YouTube video, where he described how he landed his first job as a news photographer after graduating from New Mexico State University with a degree in creative media and video.

“Back when I was a senior at NMSU, I was a film student, and I wasn’t really interested in TV news at all. But that changed one day when I got an email from our dean just listing that there was another job opportunity open for us,” he says in the 12-minute clip.

“I was like, ‘Oh, this is a paying job. They will pay me to edit and they use Adobe Premiere. Wonderful!’” he recounted about the gig as chief video editor at the student-run station that aired on PBS.

Wounded photographer Jesse Walden
Walden previously worked in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
Vimeo/Jesse Walden

Walden was shot while working at the scene of a homicide investigation in Pine Hills, where Moses allegedly fatally shot a 20-year-old woman sitting in her car earlier Wednesday.

Moses allegedly returned to the scene several hours later and opened fire at the Spectrum News journalists – and then broke into a home on Hialeah Street, where he allegedly killed the 9-year-old girl and critically injured her mom.

The suspect was charged with one count of murder in the morning homicide and is expected to face additional charges for the second and third shootings, police said.

Aerial shot of emergency vehicles at the scene of the shooting
Walden was shot alongside colleague Dylan Lyons on Wednesday afternoon.
Spectrum News 13

Spectrum News 13 said Lyons, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, moved to Gainesville, Florida, where he launched his TV career.

“He took his job very seriously. He loved his career. He loved what he did,” Spectrum Sports 360 reporter and friend Josh Miller said.

“He loved the community, telling the stories of people, reporting on the news, and he was just passionate about what he did,” he added.

Murder suspect Melvin Moses
Melvin Moses, 19, allegedly shot a 20-year-old woman and later returned to the scene, where the News 13 crew were reporting on the initial homicide.

Murder suspect Melvin Moses
Moses was charged with one count of murder and is expect to face additional counts.
Getty Images

Miller described how Lyons was close to his mom.

“I remember on different social media posts that he would put up, how grateful and thankful he was for his mother helping him get to his point, whether it was graduating from UCF, getting into the business,” he said.

“The amount of people that will miss him, I’m sure, I can’t even come to fathom how many,” Miller added.