North Central Florida media professionals remember Dylan Lyons

People remembered Lyons as a tenacious reporter that had a passion for life and cared for others
People remembered Lyons as a tenacious reporter that had a passion for life and cared for others
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 5:22 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The shocking death of Dylan Lyons is being felt throughout North Central Florida.

TV20 spoke with people from North Central Florida organizations who worked closely with Dylan during his time in Gainesville.

All of them said he left quite the impression as a reporter.

“He was intense,” said Alachua County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, Art Forgey, “and he was aggressive, and when he sunk his teeth into a story he was gonna run that story out no matter what it took. He would knock on doors, try to cross the police line tape. You knew if Dylan was on scene you had to keep your eye on him because he was going to push the limits, all in the name of being tenacious and wanting to do the best story he could.”

RELATED: Colleagues respond to the death of former TV20 News anchor, reporter Dylan Lyons

“When my phone would ring and it would be Dylan and he would be assigned a story,” Forgey continued. “I would have to study. I’d have to get that report out and read it two or three times because I knew he was going to ask tough questions, I knew he was going to dig and he wasn’t just going to slow roll it and put in a story. He was going to sink his teeth into it and do a good story.

“I remember Dylan as a really diligent reporter who took the job very seriously,” said Alachua County’s PIO, Mark Sexton. “You could tell this was his passion. He was very thorough, had an incredible attention to detail. On one story we would frequently talk 5-6 times sometimes as the story was unfolding during a day.”

Sexton said working with Dylan made him better at his job.

“Many times he would ask questions that I didn’t know the answer to--and I think I’m very savvy and know a lot about government--but he would look at it in a way that I frequently had to say ‘I’m going to get back to you on that’ and I would go and investigate with a subject matter expert here at the county to answer his questions,” said Sexton.

But more than just being a talented reporter, people spoke highly of him as a person.

“He was such a great friend to HC Florida North Florida Hospital,” said the hospital’s communications director, Lauren Lettelier, “and he was a great friend to me. He was a tremendous person, and he really wanted to report the news, and so many people I’ve talked to today that’s how they remember him.”

Some went as far as to say they considered Dylan a friend and spoke highly of his passion for his work.

“This was what he wanted to do with his life and he was so passionate and so kind with everyone in our community,” said Letellier. “For the time that he was here, he was such a part of Gainesville and North Central Florida, and I know that everybody is feeling his loss.”

RELATED: Former TV20 News anchor, reporter Dylan Lyons shot while covering homicide in Orlando

“I remember meeting him for the first time and he came to the Ronald McDonald House at 4:30 in the morning,” said the Ronald McDonald House of North Central Florida’s executive director, Sherry Houston, “and he was 4:30 sharp. He gets out of his car with all the materials and all the baggage and we walk in the house and he starts asking me about the families and why are they here, and he cared so deeply.”

Houston said her and Lyons formed a special bond and considered him a dear friend.

“A young man taken so incredibly early,” said Houston. “Someone who had the zest for life, who knew what reporting was all about, who had that love, that drive, that passion that persistence. There was no one like Dylan.”

Lyons hosted multiple events for the Ronald McDonald House and Houston remembered them fondly.

“He would bring a special gift for that child that he met,” said Houston. “He would bring teddy bears and other different toys whenever he had an opportunity. It just moved me that a young man who wasn’t even 20 years old cared about families who had a seriously ill child. There was no one like him”

RELATED: Body camera video shows arrest of Orlando man accused of killing Dylan Lyons, a woman, a 9-year-old girl

Dylan Lyons was 24 years old. He is remembered by his parents, an older sister, a niece and nephew and his fiancée.

If you would like to support the family of Dylan Lyons, a GoFundMe is available.

TRENDING: Colleagues respond to the death of former TV20 News anchor, reporter Dylan Lyons

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.