Police identify suspect in deadly Jacksonville shooting
Police in Jacksonville, Florida have identified the mass shooter who terrorised a video game tournament in a spree that was partially captured on livestream.
24-year-old David Katz killed himself and two others, and left 11 people injured in the shooting which took place at the Jacksonville Landing complex at around 1:34pm on Sunday, according to local law enforcement.
Locals in the Jacksonville gaming community have said that Katz's two victims were 27-year-old "SpotMePlzzz" Taylor Robertson of Ballard, West Virginia and 22-year-old "Trueboy" Eli Clayton of Woodland Hills, California.
Robertson, who was married and had a young son, had won 13 out of his 18 prior matches in Madden NFL tournaments, as reported by EA Sports. Clayton was a rising star in the gaming community at Madden.
A police officer from Jacksonville, Florida has said that the gunman killed himself with the same semi-auto handgun used in the shooting, which had laser sight.
A livestream of the tournament caught the horrifying moment when the weapon's laser landed on Clayton's chest before shots were fired.
Florida's Governor, Rick Scott, visited several of the injured on Sunday night, including "OLarry2k" Timothy Anselimo, who is expected to recover after being shot in the hand and chest.
According to Jacksonville's Sheriff, Mike Williams, Katz hailed from Baltimore and had travelled to Jacksonville for the Madden 19 video game tournament.
Around 150 gamers competed in the competition for a $5,000 prize. The winner was set to go onto the finals in Las Vegas where the prize was $125,000.
One of the gamers who defeated the gunman in the tournament told ActionNewsJax that Katz was acting "weird" during the competition and was wearing the same clothes he wore the day prior - on the first day of the proceedings.
The gamer, who remains unidentified, said that when he beat Katz on Saturday in the group round, he attempted to shake his hand, but that Katz just stared back at him blankly.
Police arrived on the scene within two minutes of receiving the first emergency calls at 1:34pm, Sheriff Williams said.
"[He was here] all weekend," said the gamer. "He had shades on, he didn’t speak to anybody. Even after we played... I went to shake his hand and just tell him good game and he just looked at me. He didn’t say anything."
The founder and CEO of CompLexity Gaming, Jason Lake, told CNN: "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.
"I think that the e-sports industry as a whole is going to have to step back and take a look at further strengthening our security."
EA Sports, which chairs the Madden tournaments, since released 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."