Gunman strikes Madden NFL 19 esports tournament in Jacksonville [Update]

Early reports indicating that there are several dead from the latest mass shooting and one of the first to happen at a live esports event.

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Update #4 (7:50PM): The FBI has completed its search in Baltimore.

Update #3 (5:55PM PT): The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has issued further details on Sunday's shooting the the media.

The shooter was identified as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, a former Madden NFL 17 Buffalo Bills Championship tournament winner. According to the Baltimore Sun, authorities are currently searching a home along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which is believed to be linked to the assailant. A final number of casualties and wounded has not been issued, but three people are confirmed dead, including Katz. Eleven people have been confirmed injured, with everyone in stable condition.

The deceased victims were confirmed to be 21-year-old Eli 'Trueboy' Clayton and 29-year-old Taylor 'SpotMePlzzz' Robertson, both Madden pros.

Update #2 (12:40PM PT): According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the gunman had competed during the weekend's Madden tournament and lost in an earlier round. Competitor Steven 'Steveyj' Javaruski informed the LA Times via Twitter Direct Message that the gunman had targeted several people and shot at least five before killing himself.

Update #1 (12PM PT): The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has confirmed that one suspect is dead at the scene.

It is currently unknown whether there are multiple assailants. SWAT teams are currently scouring the area, finding multiple people in hiding.

Original story: Tragedy hit a Madden 19 esports tournament at Jacksonville Landing on Sunday. A gunman struck in the middle of the tournament, shooting at players and attendees. Early reports is that there are several dead, with more wounded.

Local reporter for WJXT, Vic Mivolucci, is indicating on Twitter that there are four dead, with ten victims overall. Drini Gjoka of Complexity Gaming took to Twitter quickly to confirm his survival, noting that he was grazed on the thumb by a bullet. Several Twitch clips have been taken of the moment on-stream where gunshots broke out. We will not link to that here at Shacknews, but those looking to hunt down that clip should be warned that the footage is highly disturbing.

While this is one of the first mass shootings to hit an esports tournament, there have been several near-misses over the past few years. During June's CEO event in Daytona Beach, miles from the Jacksonville shooting, tournament organizer Alex Jebailey acknowledged that an attendee was caught with a gun in their backpack. In March, a Twitch user threatened a mass shooting at EVO 2018, with tournament organizer Joey 'Mr Wizard' Cuellar forwarding the threat to the FBI. As far back as 2015, Boston police arrested two armed suspects before they were able to enter the Pokemon World Championships, with both men allegedly plotting to commit a mass shooting.

We will update this story as more information comes in.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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