JACKSONVILLE, FL — A 24-year-old gamer shot and killed two victims at a Madden football tournament Sunday in Florida, according to reports.
David Katz, a 24-year-old from Baltimore, opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun, according to News4Jax. Katz fatally shot two fellow gamers and reportedly wounded 12 other victims before shooting and killing himself.
The shooting started at around 1:34 P.M. when 911 calls came in to report that people were being shot inside the Chicago Pizza.
Some of the chaos was caught on a livestream of the Madden competition that was broadcast from the conference. The camera then cut away from the players as screams filled the background.
“Mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing. Stay far away from the area,” a tweet from The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office warned at 2:13 P.M. “The area is not safe at this time. STAY AWAY.”
Police assembled the bomb squad and a SWAT team on the scene and, once it was confirmed that the shooter was dead, sent in emergency services to treat the wounded.
At a press conference, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams stated that in addition to the fatalities, there were 14 other victims —12 with gunshot wounds and two with other wounds that were sustained while fleeing the restaurant. He stressed that the police department would not be releasing information about motive since the investigation was still ongoing. But gamer Steven “Steveyj” Javaurski told the Los Angeles Times in a direct message that the gunman became angry after losing and targeted winning gamers.
As the scene unfolded, gamers and other participants took to social media to update friends and family of their condition.
“The tourney just got shot up. Im leavinng [sic] and never coming back,” 19-year-old competitor Drini “Young Drini” Gjoka tweeted. “I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb. Worst day of my life.”
Jason Lake, the founder and CEO of CompLexity Gaming, for whom Young Drini plays, told CNN: “To have someone walk into an event like this that’s all about good sportsmanship and teamwork and just good vibes, and do something like this, it’s heartbreaking.”
“I think that the eSports industry as a whole is going to have to step back and take a look at further strengthening our security,” he added.
“Today, this evening, and tonight, Jacksonville is mourning,” the city’s Mayor Lenny Curry said. “Pray for Jacksonville as we deal with this senseless tragedy.”
Police stated that they believe that Katz stayed in the area on Saturday night, and asked anyone with information about where he may have spent the night to call them on (904) 630-0500. Authorities have also asked anyone with video of the event to get in touch with them so that police can view the footage.The investigation is ongoing.
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Read more: New York Post
Main photo: David Katz Vic Micolucci WJXT / Twitter (screenshot)