Two people have died during a shooting in Jacksonville, Florida during a Madden video game tournament that was being held at the GLHF Game Bar at the Jacksonville Landing complex.
Shots Heard During Online Stream
The shooting happened during the Southeastern Qualifier for the Madden NFL Championship series for Madden 19. Several shots were heard during an online stream of the event that was posted on the Twitch website. The game came to an abrupt halt as the shots were fired. The audio includes people screaming and one person crying out “Oh f**, what’d he shoot me with?” The video did not show the shooting take place.
Initial reports stated that 11 people had been shot, ranging in age from 20 to 35 years old. Two of them were reported as being fatal. The suspect was identified as 24 year old David Katz, who killed himself at the scene. There were no other suspects. Three victims were transported to Memorial Hospital, and are in stable condition. Another is being treated for a minor injury at Baptist Medical Center.
UF Health Jacksonville received six patients, with one in critical condition who received multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.
Ryan Alemon, a gaming tournament participant from Texas said that he ducked down and ran toward a restroom when he first heard the gunshots. He waited for about ten minutes and then escaped from the scene. “I’m still shocked, I can hardly talk”, he said.
A nearby witness, Malik Brunson stated in a post on social media “I was in Hooters, all I heard was he got a gun and the shooting started. One of the men ran into hooters with the shot wounds – they locked us in the restaurant.”
Complexity Gaming Founder and CEO Jason Lake had the following to say after one of their gamers managed to escape after being shot in the thumb, “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.
He continued, “I think the eSports industry as a whole is gong to have to step back and take a look at further strengthening our security.”