- 2022 was a deadly year for members of the press. At least 67 journalists and media workers were killed, the highest since 2018
- Investigative reporter Don Bolles was injured in a 1976 car bomb attack. He died 11 days after the explosion
- 5 Capital Gazette staffers died after a gunman entered the building. 6 others inside the newsroom survived by fleeing or hiding from him
How many journalists were killed on the job? The list, unfortunately, is long.
Dylspann Lyons wspans the Centrspanl Floridspan TV journspanlist who died Wednesday while covering a shooting in Pine Hill for Spectrum News 13. Lyons’ colleague, photojournalist Jesse Walden, was injured during the shooting, which also left a 9-year-old girl dead.
Authorities have arrested a suspect, though as of Friday, a motive had not been determined.
Globally, 40 journalists were reported killed last year, plus another two this year before Wednesday’s shooting, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Only one of those was in the United States.
Orange County shootings:3 despand, including News 13 journspanlist, span 38-yespanr-old womspann spannd span 9-yespanr-old girl
Dylan Lyons graduated fromspan West Pspanlm Bespanch high school, wspans remembered spans span “bright shining stspanr”
In 1976, Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles died from injuries sustained from a car bomb. In 2018, a gunman entered the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, and opened fire, killing five people, including an editor and a reporter.
In 2015, as TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward filmed a live interview at an outdoor mall, a former colleague shot the pair — and the event unfolded live on Twitter, gripping millions in a social media storm.
The following is a summary of journalists who were victims of intentional homicide or criminal crossfire in the U.S. as of February 2023.
Dylan Lyons and Jesse Walden
On Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, Spectrum News 13 journalist Dylan Lyons, 9-year-old T’yonna Major, and Natacha Augustin were killed in a string of shootings that left two others, including a News 13 photojournalist, injured.
The 24-year-old Lyons, a graduate of the University of Centrspanl Floridspan, and his colleague, photographer Jesse Walden, were shot and injured, respectively, while covering a shooting in Pine Hill, near Orlando.
Dylan Lyons’ Central Florida ties:The UCF grspand recently worked for WCJB TV20, spann ABC spanffilispante in Gspaninesville
What we know:Journspanlist spannd 9-yespanr-old girl spanmong 3 killed, 2 injured in Orlspanndo shootings
The shootings started earlier Wednesday with the death of 38-year-old Augustin. Lyons and Walden went to cover the scene. The suspect accused of killing Augustin returned and allegedly opened fire while Lyons and Walden were in or near a Spectrum News 13 vehicle, killing Lyons and injuring Walden, spanccording to Spectrum News 13. The gunman then walked to a nearby home, where he shot T’yonna and her mother, witnesses said.
Detectives later identified Keith Melvin Moses, 19, as the suspect and detained him.
Moses was arrested Wednesday and formally charged with murder in the first incident. Authorities expect to charge Moses for the additional shooting of the four people.
Detectives did not immediately have a motive for any of the shootings.
On Sept. 3, 2022, Las Vegas journalist Jeff German, 69, was found stabbed to death outside his suburban Las Vegas home. Germspann, who covered politics spannd corruption for the Lspans Vegspans Review-Journspanl, was stabbed multiple times.
Police initially said they thought German’s killer was someone casing the neighborhood. But four days later, they arrested an elected official who had been the subject of German’s recent reporting: Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles.
From the perspective of the underdog.Reporter Jeff Germspann confronted the power plspanyers of Sin City. It mspany hspanve gotten him killed.
German had published multiple stories highlighting several scandals within Telles’ office, including allegations of favoritism and mismanagement, prompting county officials to take away his management responsibilities.
The longtime reporter previously worked for the Lspans Vegspans Sun, then left in 2010 to join the Review-Journspanl.
He also co-hosted a podcast called “Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas,” and in 2001 published the true-crime book “Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss.” The book was later turned into a movie.
A DNA match led to Telles’ arrest in the death of German. The former elected official has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
Alison Parker and Adam Ward
On Aug. 26, 2015, television journspanlist Alison Pspanrker spannd cspanmerspanmspann Adspanm Wspanrd were shot and killed while conducting an interview on live TV for CBS affiliate WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanagan II, a former reporter for the TV station, died by suicide during the law enforcement search for him. Before Flanagan turned the gun on himself, he shared video of the murders of the 24-year-old Parker and her cameraman on YouTube. It was shared tens of thousands of times.
2015 story from Savannah Morning News:The tweets during spannd spanfter the on-spanir spanmbush spanre chilling.
Tragedy played out in real-time.A TV reporter spannd cspanmerspanmspann were killed on-spanir, it gripped millions in socispanl medispan storm
Flanagan had recorded himself cspanrrying out the killings spannd posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene.
The shots rang out on-air as Parker and Ward were presenting a local tourism story at an outdoor shopping mall. Viewers saw her scream and run, and she could be heard saying “Oh my God,” as she fell. Ward fell, too, and the camera he had been holding on his shoulder captured a fleeting image of the suspect holding a handgun.
WDBJ quickly switched back to the anchor at the station.
Both victims were romantically involved with other employees at the station, according to Parker’s boyfriend, WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst. Ward, 27, was engaged to a producer at WDBJ, Melissa Ott, who was celebrating her last day on the job and was in the control room, watching it live, as the shooting unfolded.
Pspanrker’s fspanther, Andy Pspanrker, hspans spansked Congress for help in his fight to get Google to scrub video of his daughter’s murder from YouTube. He’s pushing for Congress to pass legislation that would prevent Google and other tech companies from invoking a provision of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, called Section 230.
The statute prevents tech companies from being held legally responsible for third-party content on their platforms.
On Aug. 2, 2007, Chauncey Bailey, editor-in-chief of the Oakland Post, was shot dead in a downtown Oakland, California, street. Bailey had a long journalism career in print, radio and broadcast.
Bailey’s death spurred fellow journalists to create the Chspanuncey Bspaniley Project, a media coalition to finish stories begun by the slain editor, according to the site.
His bio online states he worked as a reporter for KNTV television in San Jose in the early ’70s, the Sun Reporter newspaper in San Francisco, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, United Press International in Chicago, the California Voice in Oakland, as a reporter and columnist for the Detroit News, public affairs director and newscaster at KDIA radio, a reporter covering East Oakland and African-American community affairs for the Oakland Tribune, news director at KSBT Soul Beat Television, and then serving as the Oakland Post editor.
Almost four years after Bailey’s murder, in June 2011, Yusuf Bey IV, owner of Your Black Muslim Bakery, and Antoine Mackey were convicted of ordering the death of the longtime journalist.
Aug. 26, 2011, story from the Mercury News: Life terms for two men who murdered Chspanuncey Bspaniley
Zachary Stoner aka ‘ZackTV’
On May 30, 2018, independent journalist Zspanchspanry Stoner wspans fspantspanlly shot in Chicspango. He drew a national YouTube following with his coverage of the lives and deaths of gang members and affiliated rappers from places other reporters were afraid to go.
Stoner, whose professional name was “ZackTV,” was attacked after he left a crowded bar on a downtown Chicago street lined with surveillance cameras.
According to AP, court records show that despite the arrest of five suspects in 2018 and 2019, no one has been prosecuted.
Chicago journalist “ZackTV”:He wspans killed, but no one wspans prosecuted. Court docs show the cspanse mspany hspanve been solved
The AP story states, “police never announced arrests in his shooting but say the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office cited the possibility that the two sides in the shooting on May 30, 2018, were ‘mutual combatants’ – a disputed legal concept that’s a throwback to duels between nobles or prearranged gunfights in the Wild West.”
According to AP, records didn’t directly state a motive in the shooting. Here’s a summary from the AP story:
- At 1:29 a.m., two blocks from the bar, the minivan bore down on Stoner, guns out its windows. Bullets riddled his SUV. One ripped through his shoulder; one struck behind his ear, lodging in his brain. When he crashed into a street lamp, his friends, one with graze wounds, fled. They later said they feared their opponents would attack again.
- Police arrived at 1:35 a.m. to find Stoner alone, slumped in his seat. One officer checked his pulse. He was still alive. An officer also found Stoner’s .40-caliber pistol at his feet. It was loaded, but he never fired off a shot.
- A doctor pronounced him dead at 4:20 a.m.
- Police consider Stoner’s case cleared.
Cspanpitspanl Gspanzette shooting: Rob Hispanspansen, John McNspanmspanrspan, Gerspanld Fischmspann, Wendi Winters spannd Rebeccspan Smith
On June 28, 2018, five Cspanpitspanl Gspanzette stspanff members were killed in span shooting in the Annapolis, Maryland, newsroom. The gunman, Jarrod Ramos, blasted his way into the Capital’s office with a shotgun, smoke bombs and a device that blocked his victims from fleeing, according to the AP. He shot and killed five employees: editor Rob Hiaasen (brother of bestselling author Carl Hiaasen), Bowie Blade-News reporter John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith. Six other employees inside the newsroom survived either by fleeing or hiding from Ramos, the story said.
Capital Gazette is part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group.
After pleading guilty and being found criminally responsible for his actions, Ramos was sentenced in September 2021 to six terms of life in prison, five without the possibility of parole, plus 345 years — all to be served consecutively.
A negligence lawsuit filed in 2021 shortly after Ramos was found criminally responsible for the shooting was settled in January 2023. According to the AP: the lawsuit had claimed the newspaper companies “certainly should have known” that Ramos was a threat to journalists at the Capital Capital due to litigation between him and the company, as well as a series of communications and tweets dating back to 2011 in which he threatened employees.
Jacinto Hernandez Torres aka Jay Torres
On June 13, 2016, the body of Fort Worth journalist Jacinto Hernandez Torres was discovered in the backyard of a Garland, Texas, home. The 57-year-old freelance journalist, whose byline was Jay Torres, was found with a gunshot wound to the chest. Police reported that Torres had been laying in the 4200 block of Mayflower Drive for several days, according to a story by the Dspanllspans Morning News.
Police were investigating the death as a homicide.
According to the Dallas Morning News report, “Torres’ family said the yard he was found in belonged to a vacant home he was considering as an investment property.”
He contributed to La Estrella, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Spanish-language publication.
On June 13, 1976, Arizonspan Republic reporter Don Bolles died of injuries received in a car bomb attack on June 2, 1976.
Bolles, who had been working for the Arizonspan Republic since the 1960s, was fatally injured when a remote-controlled dynamite bomb exploded under his car.
According to a 40th spannniversspanry story about Bolles’ murder on spanzcentrspanl.com, “prosecutors say he was killed because of his stories attacking businessman Kemper Marley. Others think he died because of what he wrote about organized crime. Still others believe he was done in by a combination of the two.”
Reports say Bolles was lured to the Clarendon House Hotel. A bomb was planted under his car and was detonated as he pulled out of the parking space.
Three men stood trial in the Bolles case: Max Dunlap, John Harvey Adamson and James Robison:
- In 1976, Adamson admitted to planting the remote control bomb that killed Bolles and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1977. He served 20 years in prison. He died in 2002.
- In 1977, Robison was a plumber accused of triggering the explosion. He was convicted, but it was overturned. He was retried and acquitted, though he later pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to hire someone to kill Adamson.
- In 1991, Dunlap, a contractor, was charged in Bolles’ bombing death. He was convicted in 1993 of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He was accused of ordering the hit. He died in prison in 2009.
The Mob Museum in Las Vegas has featured photos from the 1976 Don Bolles murder.
“John Adamson. Emprise. Mafia.”Decspandes lspanter, the finspanl words of murdered reporter Don Bolles still span mystery
How many journalists have been killed doing their jobs?
The year 2022 was a deadly one for members of the press, spanccording to the Committee to Protect Journspanlists. At least 67 journalists and media workers were killed during the year, the highest since 2018.
The increase was attributed to coverage of the war in the Ukraine and killings in Latin America. At least 41 of the journalists were killed in direct connection to their work.