WOODLAND HILLS—A gaming tournament at a downtown Jacksonville game bar ended in gunfire on Sunday, August 26, at around 1:34 p.m. Two people were fatally shot and the gunman, Baltimore resident David Katz, 24, turned the trigger on himself.
In addition to the three fatalities, nine people present at the tournament were injured and two others were injured when they attempted to escape the venue. According to reports, Katz was a participant at the qualifying event for the “Madden NFL 19” championships game. The event was being hosted by EA Sports. The competition started on Saturday, where the finalists would compete in Las Vegas for the grand prize.
“We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville. We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage. This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved,” tweeted EA Sports on August 26. The company followed that tweet with the following statement:
“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. Our focus right now is on those affected, and supporting law enforcement as they continue their investigation into this crime.”
A livestream of the event captured the beginning of moments of the shooting before the stream was interrupted. The video recorded gunshot noises along with screaming. According to the New York Times, the recording showed a red laser moving across the chest of competitor Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California, who was killed during the incident. Gamer Taylor Robertson, 27, of West Virginia was fatally shot.
Clayton played football at Calabasas High School. Robertson won the 2017 Madden Classic Championship and competed in the tournaments to provide for his family.
“Our hearts are broken as we learned that former Calabasas Football player @True__818 (Elijah Clayton) was senselessly murdered today during the mass shooting in Florida. We send our love, condolences, and deepest sense of sorrow to Elijah’s Family and Friends,” tweeted the CHS Coyote Football team.
After shooting the victims at the GLHF Game Bar, which is located at the shopping and dining complex The Landing, Katz shot himself at Chicago Pizza, a restaurant located near the facility.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the shooting, but according to reports, Katz was upset that he was eliminated from the tournament. The FBI is investigating the incident and are combing through potential evidence at Katz’s Baltimore home. A GoFundMe page has been set-up for both Clayton and Robertson.
Written By Alexandra Del Rosario and Donald Roberts