In what has become one of the most tragic events at any gaming tournament worldwide, two people were shot dead and eleven others injured at a Madden NFL tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, USA yesterday. The shooter whose identity has been reported as David Katz, aged 24, from Baltimore shot himself dead at the scene. The tournament was taking place at a GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville Landing mall.
According to local media reports, Katz became angry following a loss at the tournament, but the police has refused to corroborate this story. He used a single handgun to inflict the damage, according to police reports. This is the third mass shooting incident in Florida in the last three years, including the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in the year 2016 where 49 people were killed, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland in February this year, where 17 people were killed.
The event was being live streamed when the shooting began and viewers watching the two players playing on screen could hear shots and screams in the background. The footage has been removed by Twitch. One pro player from the team comPlexity tweeted that he is lucky that the bullet just hit his thumb and that this was the worst day of his life. While another player tweeted that a bullet had just grazed his head.
Taylor Poindexter from Chicago, in her eyewitness account said, “We did see him, two hands on the gun, walking back, just popping rounds. I was scared for my life and my boyfriend’s.”
I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb
— Drini Gjoka (@YoungDrini) August 26, 2018
They took me to the hospital. Bullet grazed my head. I feel fine, just a scratch on my head. Traumatized and devastated.
— DUBBY (@DubDotDUBBY) August 26, 2018
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, commented on the incident and said, “Tonight, Jacksonville is mourning. We’ve faced an occurrence that is all too common that will require us to continue to do the hard work of public safety.”
Electronic Arts, the company that develops the Madden games and Twitch, the platform where the tournament was being streamed have come out with statements in support of thee families and the community and condemning the shooting.
— Electronic Arts (@EA) August 27, 2018
This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.
— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) August 26, 2018
We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Jacksonville today. Twitch and all its staff send our deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones, and everyone in our community who's grieving today.
— Twitch (@Twitch) August 26, 2018
The FBI is now making its own investigations into this incident and has already searched the suspect’s house in Baltimore, as well as his car, which has been impounded in Jacksonville.