The outside of GLHF, the game bar in which a mass shooting occurred on Sunday afternoon. (Photo: GLHF Bar, Facebook)
A shooter opened fire today during a Madden NFL 19 tournament at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, FL. The local news outlet WJXT reports that at least four people are dead, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department is warning people to stay clear of the area.
When reached by Kotaku, police confirmed that the shooting had occurred but were not able to provide more information. As of 2:53pm, the official Twitter account stated that one suspect is dead at the scene.
— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) August 26, 2018
During a press briefing, Sheriff Mike Williams made some short remarks. Jacksonville Landing, the mall in which GLHF Game Bar is located, has been cleared. There is one suspect deceased at the scene, and there are no outstanding suspects. The deceased suspect is a white male, and the Sheriff’s Office is still working to confirm his identity.
The Sheriff said that more information would be forthcoming in a press briefing with the Mayor later in the evening.
Electronic Arts tweeted a short statement in two parts: “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.”
The esports group Complexity Gaming said on Twitter this afternoon that one of its members, Drini Gjoka, had been grazed by a bullet but is now “away from the scene and safe.”
Dubby, another participant in the tournament, also said on Twitter that he was safe. In a follow-up tweet, he clarified that a bullet grazed his head during the shooting and that he is “traumatized and devastated.”
The shooting was captured on the live Twitch stream of the tournament, and you can view that clip here. Warning: the clip is extremely disturbing.
Update: While the investigation is still ongoing, a statement issued by the Jacksonville Sherriff’s office believes – though they cannot confirm – that the suspect was a 24 year-old man named David Katz, from Baltimore, who was in town “for the competition”. The FBI is currently providing investigative and technical assistant, and Federal authorities are currently investigating a home in South Baltimore.
The Sheriff’s office has also confirmed that three people have been killed, with a further 11 injured, nine of them with gunshot wounds. All the wounded are in a stable condition.
Local news outlet News 4 Jax also reported that “Katz, a competitive gamer, won the Madden NFL 17 Bills Championship tournament. He was registered to play in this weekend’s Jacksonville event.”
"I was actually one of the people that beat him…"
GAMER and WITNESS talks about suspected #TheLandingMassShooting shooter David Katz. Says he was acting 'weird' all weekend. #BREAKING #Jacksonville #JacksonvilleLanding #JacksonvilleLandingShooting @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/7ZwqKbMzGM
— Ryan Nelson (@RyanANJax) August 27, 2018
This story is developing and will be updated as we learn more.