Jacksonville shooter David Katz may have shot people because he was upset about losing in the video game competition.
According to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, Katz targeted other gamers competing in the southeast qualifier for Madden NFL 19. His shooting spree resulted in two deaths and 10 others with bullet wounds. Some were also injured in the rush to leave the venue. Katz was found dead through self-inflicted gunshots.
Competition attendee Alexander Madunic, who was shot in the foot, told CNN Katz was upset about a loss earlier in the day.
“He was kinda upset about that, so I’m guessing that had something else to do with it, too,” Madunic said.
The competition venue, the GLHF Game Bar, is connected with restaurant Chicago Pizza and within the larger Jacksonville Landing mall complex. Katz did not target people outside of the competition area.
The EA Sports Madden NFL 19 southeast qualifier in Jacksonville is part of the larger, nationwide, Madden NFL 19 tournament. EA Sports has since canceled the remaining three tournament qualifiers to reassess competition security, according to a statement from EA.
“We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators. We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson.
The Jacksonville event attracted competitors from various states, and was set to award a $5,000 prize to the winner, plus a chance to move further in the nationwide competition for a chance at more prize money, according to the GLHF Game Bar Instagram page.
The remaining qualifiers were set to take place at Dulles, Virginia, Santa Ana, California, and Carrollton, Texas, with the culminating competition scheduled for Las Vegas in October, according to the competition events calendar.
“This is the first time we’ve had to confront something like this as an organization, and I believe the first time our gaming community has dealt with a tragedy of this nature. Please take time to support each other through this challenging time,” added Wilson.
Katz had two handguns at the time of the tragedy. He equipped one of the guns with a laser sight, and did not use the other one during the shooting. Katz had been treated for psychological issues when he was younger, according to court records obtained by CNN.
President Trump offered condolences to the victims of the shooting during a dinner with Christian leaders on Aug. 27. He also praised the city authorities in how they handled the situation.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said via Twitter that they do not plan to release any further updates on the situation, and that they have released to the public all the info they have.
Eli “Trueboy” Clayton and Taylor “SpotMePlzzz” Robertson died in the shooting.
“First and foremost, it is an unthinkable tragedy that Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton, two of our top Madden competitors, lost their lives in this way. They were respected, positive and skilled competitors, the epitome of the players and personalities at the heart of our community. Their love of competition was evident through their participation in our events over the past few years. We are committed to supporting Taylor and Elijah’s families through this difficult time, and we send our deepest sympathies to their loved ones, to those injured yesterday, and everyone affected,” wrote Wilson, in the statement.