Florida became the scene of yet another high-profile shooting rampage yesterday afternoon when a man opened fire during a video game tournament at a mall in Jacksonville, killing two and wounding nine others before he killed himself. Below, we’ve rounded up what we know about the shooting, as well as the facts yet to emerge.
Jacksonville shooting: What we know today.
- The Madden 19 tournament was hosted in the GLHF Game Bar, which occupies the back of a pizza restaurant in Jacksonville Landing, an open-air complex along the river in downtown Jacksonville. The contest was a qualifying round for a high-level 16-player competition in Las Vegas in October.
- The tournament was being broadcast live on Twitch, a live-streaming platform. When the shooting broke out, gunshots were audible on the broadcast, and one gamer could be heard yelling “Oh f***, what’d he shoot me with?”
- Jacksonville Landing has been the site of fatal gun violence before. In January 2017, a 16-year-old boy was killed and a 13-year-old was wounded in gunfire that broke out in broad daylight.
- Two competitors were killed, and nine others were wounded by gunfire. Two others were injured in the scramble to leave the bar.
- Six of the injured were taken to UF Health Jacksonville, where one is suffering from serious injuries. Others were shot in the ankle or wrist.
- Family and friends report that one of those killed was Elijah Clayton, 22, known by his gaming alias Trueboy. Clayton, who flew out to the tournament from Los Angeles, is remembered by gaming friends as smiley and genuine.
- Taylor “SpotMePlzzz” Robertson, 27, was also killed. He leaves behind a wife and son.
- According to authorities, the shooter was David Katz, 24, from Baltimore.
- The Jacksonville Sheriff said Katz recently bought two handguns — a .45 and a 9mm — from a licensed dealer in the Baltimore area, close to the home he shared with his parents. Both guns were found at the scene; only one was used in the shooting.
- Witnesses say Katz had lost a tournament game before opening fire, though authorities have not confirmed a motive for the shooting. A bracket from a previous tournament shows that Katz and Clayton had played each other before.
- Katz was reportedly hospitalized for psychiatric treatment during his parents’ 2005 divorce. He has attended the University of Maryland since 2014, but he was not enrolled this semester. At the tournament, an announcer introduced Katz by saying that the stone-faced gamer “keeps to himself. He’s a man of business. He’s not here to make friends.”
- Local police are working with the FBI, and yesterday the suspect’s vehicle was impounded.
- Brendan Duff, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alum and a co-founder of the March for Our Lives, tweeted that he and other activists had been at Jackson Landing “exactly a month ago… and called for change.” He was referring to a community meeting on gun reform that was organized by the local March For Our Lives chapter.
- Activist Sarah Chadwick added that the group had eaten at the restaurant where the shooting took place.
- Governor Rick Scott, a GOP Senate hopeful, visited at least one of the victims in the hospital yesterday, according to a tweet posted by the mother of Tim Anselimo, who was injured in the shooting.
- On Sunday night, Scott told reporters, “We have got to change. We’ve got to really stop and say to ourselves: there’s something wrong. Why are young men willing to give up their life, or why don’t they value somebody else’s life?”
- After the Parkland shooting earlier this year, Scott signed a bill that implemented a “red flag” law and raised the state’s rifle-buying age to 21. It also appropriated millions of dollars for efforts to arm teachers, and improve mental health services.
The shooting at the tournament made headlines for its location, but it was just one of many multiple-casualty shootings over the weekend.
- One young man was fatally shot and two teenagers were injured as they left a stadium after a high school football game just seven miles from Jacksonville Landing.
- A 16-year-old was fatally shot and an 18-year-old was injured in a shooting near a California high school, causing those attending a junior varsity football game to go into lockdown.
- A Nashville man was shot in the chest and killed while he was celebrating his 23rd birthday outside his home on Saturday night. Three others were injured.
- A 26-year-old man was found dead of a gunshot wound, and three others wounded, when police responded to calls about a disturbance at a bar in Wichita Falls, Texas, early Sunday morning.