Jacksonville Mass Shooter Identified as Gamer David Katz - Rolling Stone
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Jacksonville Mass Shooter Identified as Gamer David Katz

Shooter had lost a game in the ‘Madden NFL 19’ tournament before opening fire on the crowd.

A police officer walks by the front of a Chicago Pizza and GLHF Game Bar, at the scene of fatal shooting on Sunday, at The Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville, Fla. A gunman opened fire at a video game tournament killing multiple people and then fatally shooting himself in a rampage that wounded several othersMall Shooting Florida, Jacksonville, USA - 27 Aug 2018

A police officer walks by the front of a Chicago Pizza and GLHF Game Bar, the scene of fatal shooting on Sunday, at The Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville.

John Raoux/AP/REX Shutterstock

The suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting during a video-gaming competition at a pizzeria in Jacksonville, Florida, has been identified as David Katz, a 24-year-old white male from Baltimore, Maryland. Katz opened fired during the Madden NFL 19 qualifying tournament, which was streaming on Twitch, at approximately 1:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, killing two people and wounding 11 others before killing himself. Police say he used a handgun.

According to the LA Times, Stephen “Steveyj” Javaruski, who was participating in the tournament and took shelter in the bathroom, said Katz “targeted a few people” before turning the gun on himself.

“RIP to Trueboy and Spotme,” Javaruski tweeted, referring to the two victims, Elijah Clayton, 22, and Taylor Robertson, 27, by their gaming handles. “This is the worst day of my life.”

The two-day regional tournament began on Saturday, with round-robin matchups between as many as 256 players, according to the L.A. Times. The first- and second-place winners score $250, and advance to the final round in Las Vegas to compete in EA Sports’ Madden Classic, where the winner walks away with a $125,000 prize.

Katz, who went by the nickname “Bread,” was a relatively well-known player-to-watch on the “Madden” gaming scene. At a regional competition in February 2017, according to the Washington Post, Katz pulled off an unexpected win over the tournament favorite, a victory which EA Sports called the “most exciting moment in all the 2017 NFL Club Series Championships.”

On Sunday, however, Katz was eliminated from the competition; it’s not clear how much time elapsed before the shooting began. The police have not released a possible motive or said whether Katz knew the victims.

The beginning of the shooting was captured on the tournament’s various livestreams on sites like Twitchy; according to the Independent, in one video, a red laser sight appeared on a male player’s chest (identified by the L.A .Times as Clayton) just before the sound of gunshots rang out and the livestream was cut.

“I’ve been saying events NEED better security,” tweeted Call of Duty gamer Seth Abner. “Such a damn shame that now event coordinators will respond after a tragedy happens.”

“No one deserves to die over playing a video game, you know?” Madden competitor Derek Jones told the Associated Press. “We’re just out here trying to win some money for our families and stuff.”

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