Police Identify Florida Video Game Mass Shooter As Pro-Gamer Who Lost Match

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Police have identified the person who’s believed to have shot and killed two people before killing himself at a gaming event in Florida on Sunday, August 26.

Jacksonville sheriff, Mike Williams, named the gunman as David Katz, a 24-year-old from Baltimore, Maryland. Williams added Katz ‘was here for the competition’.

Williams has confirmed two people were shot dead and nine others suffered gunshot wounds before Katz killed himself.

According to the sheriff, Katz was in Jacksonville to compete in the tournament, where around 150 gamers were competing for a $5,000 prize. The winner would have gone on to the finals tournament in Las Vegas, with a prize money of $125,000.

David KatzEA Sports

The police have reportedly raided Katz’s address in Baltimore, and seized his car which was near the tournament.

The tournament was taking place The Jacksonville Landing shopping centre, where people had gathered to play, and watch others play the Madden NFL19 game – an American football video game.

Nine of the non-fatal injuries were gunshot wounds, and two others were sustained while fleeing the complex, reports The Guardian.

Katz arrived in Jacksonville on Saturday, August 25, to compete in the tournament. According to witnesses, he returned the next day wearing the same clothes, acting ‘weird’. He was eliminated from the competition and returned to the complex with a gun, reports Daily Mail.

In a Facebook post, Ryen Aleman, who was in Jacksonville to also compete in the tournament, said:

Don’t wish anyone on this – the scariest moment of my life. Just thank God I made it out of there safe. Prayers for everyone that is out there right now. [sic]

Speaking to CNN, Aleman added:

Everyone ducked down. I got down and crawled to the bathroom. I heard so many gunshots, 20 at least. I’m so shocked I can hardly talk.

Another player, 19-year-old Drini Gjoka, who was hit on the thumb by a bullet, tweeted:

Worst day of my life I will never take anything for granted ever again. Life can be cut short in a second. [sic]

Footage captured at the event apparently shows the red dot of a laser sight from Katz’s gun pointing at fellow players.

Taylor Poindexter, who was at the tournament, told reporters she saw the gunman taking aim at people in the room as he came back.

She 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.

EA Sports, who own the Madden NFL game, said:

This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.

Sheriff Mike Williams said:

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

Jacksonville Mayor, Lenny Curry said:

Tonight, Jacksonville is mourning. We’ve faced an occurrence which is all too common which will require us to continue to do the hard work of public safety.

Our thoughts and condolences are with all those affected by the incident.


Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.