JACKSONVILLE, FL — What started out as an exciting Madden 19 football game video tournament by eSports turned deadly, after a gunman opened fire, killing two and injuring at least 14.
Moments before the shooting at the GLHF game bar in Jacksonville, a red dot appeared to be from a laser pointer was seen on one of the victim’s chest in a livestream.
Then, gunshots were heard.
Authorities have named the two people killed: gamers Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, West Virginia; and Eli Clayton, 22 of Woodland Hills, California.
The shooter — 24-year old David Katz from Baltimore, Maryland — also killed himself at the scene.
Police said Katz used at least one handgun in his shooting rampage.
Police are still trying to determine a motive, but eyewitness accounts suggest Katz was upset after he lost the match. It’s unclear if he knew any of the victims.
“We have faced an occurrence that is all too common and will require us to continue to do the hard work of public safety to make sure that people are safe,” said Jacksonville Mayor Curry.
BA spoke to Gerald Jones, who owns a store near the scene of the crime. He said this was an unusual occurrence.
“It’s just, I guess it happens all over the place. It’s usually safe down here.”
Fil-Am Jerwin Cayonte is the father of Vincent Cayonte, a popular gamer in the online gaming community, who’s currently in Sweden for a competition.
He said that area where the shooting happened isn’t safe at all, and he never wanted his son to play there.
“I always decline because there’s an issue with security, and I’m not gonna be there and I wanna make sure that they provide adequate security to prevent something like this.”
Jerwin said video gaming tournaments could get intense, and calls on the industry to provide more protection to players.
“It’s gambling, somebody lost and was upset. Because of that, they need to make sure the players are protected. I cannot comprehend what just took place, this senseless violence.”
Since the shooting, a number of gamers have called for increased security at eSports Events.