Gunman kills two at video game tournament in Florida
August 27, 2018 07:28 AM NPT
JACKSONVILLE, Aug 27: A video gamer killed two people and wounded several others on Sunday when he opened fire with a handgun at a tournament that was being streamed online from a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, police said.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams named the shooter as David Katz, 24, of Baltimore and said he was in town for the competition. He declined to comment on what led to the third major mass shooting to hit Florida in the last two years.
Williams said Katz killed himself after the shooting and that his body was found along with those of his two victims. The sheriff’s office said 11 people were wounded by gunfire, and at least two others were injured while fleeing the scene.
Dozens of ambulances and police cars flooded into The Jacksonville Landing, a waterfront dining, entertainment and shopping site in the city’s downtown, after several shots rang out on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
The shooting took place during a regional qualifier for the Madden 19 online game tournament at the GLHF Game Bar inside a Chicago Pizza restaurant, according to the venue’s website.
The bar was livestreaming the football video game competition when the gunfire started, according to video of the stream shared on social media. In the video, players can be seen reacting to the shots and cries can be heard before the footage cuts off.
Taylor Poindexter and her boyfriend, Marquis Williams, had traveled from Chicago to attend the tournament, and they fled when the gunfire erupted. She said she saw Katz take aim at his victims.
“We did see him, two hands on the gun, walking back, just popping rounds,” Poindexter told reporters. “I was scared for my life and my boyfriend’s.”
One Twitter user, Drini Gjoka, said he was taking part in the tournament and was shot in the thumb.
“Worst day of my life,” Gjoka wrote on Twitter. “I will never take anything for granted ever again. Life can be cut short in a second.”
Another gamer, Chris “Dubby” McFarland, was hospitalized after a bullet grazed his head. “I feel fine, just a scratch on my head. Traumatized and devastated,” he wrote on Twitter.