Multiple Fatalities Reported Following Mass Shooting During Live eSports Event
According to multiple reports, a gunman opened fire at the Madden Championship Series live qualifier in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday afternoon.
Authorities have stated that multiple fatalities occurred as a result of twelve gunshots that could be heard at a bar that was hosting the gaming event. The gunman was dead at the scene when Sheriff Mike Williams of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office provided details at a news conference. The suspect has been identified as David Katz, a gamer who had lost in the tournament.
According to Steven Javaruski, a player who was competing in the tournament, the shooter “targeted a few people” before shooting at five victims and killing himself. Javaruski claims he witnessed the gunman kill two or three people.
The exact count regarding the number of individuals killed and wounded has not yet been provided, though several accounts on Twitter state that “many” have been transported to hospitals.
Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville is currently treating three patients, who were in stable condition when arriving. UF Health Jacksonville is currently treating six patients, one of which is in serious condition. Three of these patients were shot once, with the most fatal shot occurring in the chest. The patients range from ages 20 to 35, according to The New York Times.
The event was pulled from the live stream following the initial shots, which started with a red laser dot appearing on the chest of one of the players. CompLexity Gaming, which represents the professional players present at the qualifier, has stated that the player, named Drini Gjoka, “suffered a small injury” as a bullet grazed his hand. He is now away from the scene.
The tournament, like most esports events, was being live streamed on Twitch at the time of the shooting. EA, which runs the Madden Championship Series, has commented on the matter, stating that they are working with authorities to gather facts regarding the shooting.