Sheriff Jacksonville’s office said three people, including the gunman, were killed during a mass shooting at a video game tournament in a North Florida shopping mall.
Sheriff Mike Williams said he believed the shooter was 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore. He said the FBI was searching the man’s home as part of the investigation.
Williams said that nine other people were wounded by gunfire, and that they were in stable condition, and two others were wounded while fleeing the shots. He says the suspect died from a gunshot wound.
William said Katz committed the shooting with a single pistol. He said that Katz was in Jacksonville for the “Madden NFL 19” video game tournament, at Jacksonville Landing, in the heart of downtown. The playmaker, EA Sports, lists David Katz as the 2017 tournament winner.
An FBI official in Baltimore confirmed that agents were searching the family home of the man authorities believed was behind the fatal shooting. FBI spokesperson Dave Fitz says agents went to the suspect’s father’s home in Baltimore, but did not immediately reveal any further details, citing an ongoing investigation.
The video contest was held in a game bar that shared space with a pizzeria. Viewers can watch games online and see players. Twitch Camera Capture Photography. Viewer appreciation is recommended, as the content is graphic.
Williams said investigators were looking at a video on the Internet that appeared to have captured the scene right before the shooting began.
A red dot that looks like a laser pointer appears on a player’s chest seconds before the first of a dozen shots appears.
Jason Lake, the founder and CEO of compLexity, a company that owns professional eSports teams, said on Twitter that one of its players, 19-year-old Drini Jouka, had hit the thumb.
“The competition was shot. I am leaving and not coming back,” Juka wrote on Twitter. Then: “I’m very lucky. The bullet hit my thumb. The worst day of my life.”
Marquis Williams, 28, and his girlfriend, Taylor Poindexter, 26, both from Chicago, were ordering pizza at the bar when they heard the shooting. Williams said that people stepped on each other in an attempt to escape.
“At first we thought it was an exploding balloon, but there were no balloons in the room. Then we heard repeated shots and set off for a run,” said Williams, who participated in the tournament earlier.
The sheriff’s office used Twitter and Facebook to warn people to stay away and ask anyone who was in hiding to call 911.
Police surrounded a radius of three squares around the mall. Officers and coast guard boats patrolled the nearby river. Many ambulances can be seen in the area, but the mall area seemed to be empty of everyone except for law enforcement. The police also took up positions on a bridge overlooking the river.