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Families of Dylan Lyons, T'Yonna Major decry politicization of children's deaths

Families of the victims gather at the office of Attorney Mark NeJame.
Danielle Prieur
Families of the victims gather at the office of Attorney Mark NeJame.

The families of two people killed in a series of shootings in Orlando’s Pine Hills are speaking out via their attorney Mark NeJame. The 24-year-old journalist and 9-year-old OCPS student were killed in a shooting in Pine Hills last Wednesday. A 38-year-old woman was also shot and killed.

NeJame says Dylan Lyons and T’Yonna Major’s families disagree with Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senator Rick Scott’s claims that State Attorney Monique Worrell is to blame for their children’s deaths.

But, he said the families do think DeSantis and Scott’s support for a bill that would enshrine concealed carry in the state will be responsible for countless deaths in Florida.

“They have intentionally or ignorantly suggested others may be blamed for gun violence and the causes that led to this murderous rampage when it is actually the belief that it is their own policies and rhetoric that enable such behavior and actions," said NeJame.

NeJame again reiterated their contempt for both elected leaders' actions especially during a time of great personal pain and grief for the families.

“I will not dignify the killer by mentioning his name, but Gov. DeSantis and Senator Scott have intentionally and with what appears to be malice conspired with one another in a coordinated effort to paint a false narrative defaming and somehow accusing the state attorney Monique Worrell for some responsibility here," said NeJame. "Shame on them.”  

The governor’s general counsel sent a letter to Worrell inquiring about the suspect’s previous arrests. GOP Senator Rick Scott Tweeted that depending on what he found, “DeSantis would be right to remove her.”

Last year, DeSantis removed Democratic state attorney, Andrew Warren, from his post after he vowed not to prosecute people who run afoul of new abortion laws.

Read the concealed carry bill, HB-543 here. Lyons' and Major's families have set up GoFundMe pages to help pay for their funeral expenses.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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