Mass Shooting At eSports Tournament Leaves Multiple Dead
A Madden video-game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida ended in a mass shooting that killed two people.
The BBC reports that 11 other people were injured in the shooting which took place at the Jacksonville Landing shopping centre at around 13:30 this Sunday.
Police named the killer as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, who is believed to have attended the online game tournament at the GLHF Game Bar inside a pizza restaurant.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams described the incident.
There were nine victims transported by JFRD [Jackonville Fire and Rescue Department] to area hospitals. Some of those have gunshot wounds. There were two additional gunshot victims that self-transported themselves to local hospitals.
Police have refused to comment on the shooter’s motive. There are unconfirmed reports he was angry after failing to qualify for the Madden NFL 19 eSports tournament.
Authorities declined to identify Katz’ two victims until their next-of-kin had been informed although several impromptu memorials have popped up on social media.
A video stream of the shooting shows a red laser sight moving across the chest of a man as he plays the game, gunfire can then be heard as the video cuts out.
Marquis Williams and his girlfriend were in the shopping centre when the shooting occurred, they reported hearing loud popping noises that they believed were balloons bursting.
Initially, we thought it was a balloon popping, but there weren’t any balloons in the room. Then we heard repeat shots and we took off running.
Both reported seeing crowds running out of the GLHF Game Bar while other witnesses claim people were trampled as they rushed to escape the shooting.
Rick Scott, the Florida Governor, has said President Donald Trump has offered federal support in investigating the shooting and the governor is believed to have spoken with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and the town sheriff, Mike Williams.
The company that owns Madden, EA Sports, also released a statement following the shooting.
The tragic situation that occurred Sunday in Jacksonville was a senseless act of violence that we strongly condemn. Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the victims whose lives were taken today and those who were injured.
All of us at Electronic Arts are devastated by this horrific event, and we also join the community in thanking the first responders who were quickly on the scene.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Highway Patrol have also been directed to help with the investigation.