Police gather after a gunman opened fire Sunday during an online video game tournament that was being livestreamed from a Florida mall, killing multiple people and sending many others to hospitals. Photo: AP
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3 dead, including gunman in shooting at video game tournament in Florida

51 Comments
By Joey Roulette

A video gamer killed two people and wounded several others on Sunday when he opened fire with a handgun at a tournament that was being streamed online from a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, police said.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams named the shooter as David Katz, 24, of Baltimore and said he was in town for the competition. He declined to comment on what led to the third major mass shooting to hit Florida in the last two years.

Williams said Katz killed himself after the shooting and that his body was found along with those of his two victims. The sheriff's office said 11 people were wounded by gunfire, and at least two others were injured while fleeing the scene.

Dozens of ambulances and police cars flooded into The Jacksonville Landing, a waterfront dining, entertainment and shopping site in the city's downtown, after several shots rang out on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The shooting took place during a regional qualifier for the Madden 19 online game tournament at the GLHF Game Bar inside a Chicago Pizza restaurant, according to the venue's website.

The bar was livestreaming the football video game competition when the gunfire started, according to video of the stream shared on social media. In the video, players can be seen reacting to the shots and cries can be heard before the footage cuts off.

Taylor Poindexter and her boyfriend, Marquis Williams, had traveled from Chicago to attend the tournament, and they fled when the gunfire erupted. She said she saw Katz take aim at his victims.

"We did see him, two hands on the gun, walking back, just popping rounds," Poindexter told reporters. "I was scared for my life and my boyfriend's."

One Twitter user, Drini Gjoka, said he was taking part in the tournament and was shot in the thumb.

"Worst day of my life," Gjoka wrote on Twitter. "I will never take anything for granted ever again. Life can be cut short in a second."

Another gamer, Chris "Dubby" McFarland, was hospitalized after a bullet grazed his head. "I feel fine, just a scratch on my head. Traumatized and devastated," he wrote on Twitter.

Local media said the shooter had been competing in the tournament and lost, then apparently targeted other players before killing himself.

The sheriff's office said the FBI was assisting them in Baltimore, and The Baltimore Sun reported that agents were at a home in South Baltimore in connection with the investigation.

A Baltimore City police spokesman, TJ Smith, said the department was assisting partner law enforcement agencies with information that led them to Baltimore.

The latest rampage occurred amid a debate over U.S. gun laws that was given fresh impetus by the massacre in February of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Two years ago a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The sheriff's office said many people were transported to hospital, and its deputies found many others hiding in locked areas at The Landing.

Six victims were taken to Jacksonville's UF Health Hospital, five of them in stable condition and one in serious condition, hospital staff said.

A spokesman for Jacksonville's Memorial Hospital said it was treating three victims, all of whom were in stable condition.

Jacksonville, on Florida's Atlantic Coast, is about 35 miles south of the Georgia state line.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican who is challenging longtime Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in November's election, said he had offered to provide local authorities with any state resources they might need.

"Word of another tragic mass shooting in our state brings shock and outrage," Nelson said on Twitter.

Marco Rubio, U.S. senator from Florida, said both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were coordinating with local authorities to provide assistance.

President Donald Trump has been briefed and is monitoring the situation in Jacksonville, the White House said.

Reacting to news of the shooting during the tournament involving its game, Madden 19 maker Electronic Arts Inc said it was working with authorities to gather facts.

"This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved," the company said on Twitter.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
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SuperLibAug. 27  10:32 pm JST

This could have easily happened in countries that ban guns.

Sadly, you're absolutely right, mass shootings of civilians by civilians have occurred elsewhere, but not with such regularity as in America.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you think America can ban guns and keep them from coming into their country you must not know anything about America’s war on drugs. America’s borders are so wide open they can’t keep out huge shipments of drugs - in some cases measured by the ton. The shooter could have no doubt walked down the street from that bar and buy any number of different drugs on the street. Ban guns in America and the cartels will just add guns to their menu of black market products. Open borders means anything goes - apparently that is what America wants.

Typical rightist reaction - deflect, deflect, deflect...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dunno, been to over 35 countries, I know more countries that are far worse than the US.

Name one country that has had more mass shootings of civilians, and in particular school children and young adults, than America has had in the past 20 years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many Floridians are hunters...

Why? And what do they ‘hunt’.

This is the 21st century, we can buy all the food we need at the local supermarket.

Your ‘hunters’ are nothing more than KILLERS of defenseless creatures, too often using weapons specifically designed to kill many humans, quickly.

To refer to these people as ‘hunters’ is demeaning to those Real Men of earlier times who went in search of, and killed, wild animals with the most primitive of weapons, but only for food and, sometimes, their skins.

The only thing your ‘hunters’ should be allowed to do is to run around department stores looking for bargains during their sales.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@nishikat: Dylan Roof is a KKK white supremacist Trump David Duke voter. Parkland shooter is a Trump supporter.

Come on man. You are again letting your hate get the best of you. Yes Dylan Roof is a White supremacist- but you are making a ridiculous connection to Trump. Roofs crimes took place before Trump took office. Trump even nominated his prosecutor for a circuit court judgeship. Roof did not vote for anyone in 2016 because he was in jail.

The claim that Nikolas Cruz is a Trump supporter has also been debunked and no one has been able to confirm that he wore a Trump hat. I take that as Leftist social media slander.

However, it is a fact that the shooter of the Republican baseball players is a Bernie supporter who volunteered for Leftist political campaigns and hated Trump. That isn’t to say that Lefty’s are more prone to violence than those on the right, but you should pay attention to thefacts and reality and refrain from getting all worked up into a lather of political hatred based on innuendo.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Gremlin.Gaijin: Yeah, so you can make it all about the individual, not the laws that enabled him to do what he did.

What laws are you talking about? Murder is illegal.

If you think America can ban guns and keep them from coming into their country you must not know anything about America’s war on drugs. America’s borders are so wide open they can’t keep out huge shipments of drugs - in some cases measured by the ton. The shooter could have no doubt walked down the street from that bar and buy any number of different drugs on the street. Ban guns in America and the cartels will just add guns to their menu of black market products. Open borders means anything goes - apparently that is what America wants.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And have only the government and the criminals with access to arms?

Why would anyone with that thought. In Japan the government has all the guns.

It doesn't make sense just like when Trump follower say they don't want government healthcare but they use government healthcare in Japan.

I know more countries that are far worse than the US.

How about Japan? Japan has no guns here. Why would an NRA2A person want to be in Japan?

 it turns out the shooter was a member of the democrats' "resistance" 

Dylan Roof is a KKK white supremacist Trump David Duke voter. Parkland shooter is a Trump supporter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This could have easily happened in countries that ban guns.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah, so you can make it all about the individual, not the laws that enabled him to do what he did.

You do realize, he broke a few laws, right?

knight_of_Honour - is clueless about laws in the USA and that there is a mix of crazy people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to his Reddit page, it turns out the shooter was a member of the democrats' "resistance" movement. That means liberals own yet another shooting.

What's more, because it now doesn't fit the anti-gun narrative it works overtime to promote (leftists would never do such a thing; they are so tolerant of different opinions, ya know) , watch for this incident will disappear down the MSM memory hole by the next news cycle.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

"it seems reasonable to suppose that if there were enough sensible Americans making decisions or influencing decisions through their vote, the second amendment would have been amended into sensible oblivion long ago."

What! And have only the government and the criminals with access to arms? Like in the UK? No thanks.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

the fact is that the majority of Americans support sensible gun regulation

that would be political suicide for them

One of them facts is obviously not right.

There must be a blue moon tonight, I'm agreeing with Bass. Not sure whether it's the political system that screws things up or a majority of voters actually do want to live in a country where you cannot safely send your kids to school, to the mall or to a video game meeting without worrying that they might not ever come home, but it seems reasonable to suppose that if there were enough sensible Americans making decisions or influencing decisions through their vote, the second amendment would have been amended into sensible oblivion long ago.

Three families in mourning and 11 people injured. Just another day in America.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GoodlucktoyouToday  02:54 pm JST

Another civil war? A nation of gun carrying angry people. All it takes is a stock market crash.

Unlikely. Though posters with .ru IPs would love to encourage such a conflict and indeed have explicitly tried to encourage it recently, the fact is that the majority of Americans support sensible gun regulation. Besides, there is no evidence that this shooting was ideological.

Though of course, it's not unheard of for irresponsible fora moderators to allow violent rhetoric under the pretense of feigning political neutrality, and that violent rhetoric could trigger someone with mental issues to act as a lone-wolf attacker. Of course, that doesn't seem to be what we're seeing in this shooting. But the idea of the factors that led to this shooting degenerating into an overall civil war is not something to worry about, unless one is particularly worried about fat old men and awkward teenage boys LARPing as freedom fighters in their basements.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

America is hopelessly drowning in a sea of guns,

If that were true, there’d be no one left.

and there is not a single thing they can do about it. What a frighteningly VIOLENT country!

Dunno, been to over 35 countries, I know more countries that are far worse than the US.

Parents, do not send your children there.

I wish we wouldn’t have millions coming daily and living in our country that would be a good thing.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Another civil war? A nation of gun carrying angry people. All it takes is a stock market crash.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

When gamers go bad... All that virtual killing has gotta take a toll.

Hollywood and the game industry published disclaimers long ago.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Anther son of the gun to panic USA citizen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many states do not allow open carry of firearms, but it makes no difference. The shooters all are liberal left winger Democrats or associated with the Democrats. Quit trying to blame the NRA, etc. who are the biggest gun safety organization in America. You don't see NRA members doing any shooting.

This just isn't true.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

America is hopelessly drowning in a sea of guns, and there is not a single thing they can do about it. What a frighteningly VIOLENT country! Parents, do not send your children there.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Many Floridians are hunters

What is so special about hunting? It's done in Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just another day in "Merika".

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Just another day in America...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens"

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Shootings, video games. How about going hiking or go to the beach?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

There must be more to the story since I doubt people get so mad at losing at a Madden tournament that they open fire. Real shame though since usually videogame tournaments are supposed to be a meeting of people who love games and to make friends with other like-minded people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My thoughts are that Republicans won’t do anything, and my prayers are that they’ll be voted out of office. 

But they won’t and the Dems wanting to abolish the second amendment, let them try, that would be political suicide for them and they know it.

This violence must stop.

I agree, so let’s enforce the laws that are already on the books heavily.

Florida, if you're dumb enough this November to replace moderate Democrat Bill Nelson with NRA/Koch lackey/Dump supporter right winger Rick Scott, you reap what you sow.

Many Floridians are hunters Nelson probably will be voted out, hopefully.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

When a single person is murdered by someone accused of being an illegal immigrant, they demand we change the system immediately to make sure this never happens again,

Not quite right. When someone is killed by an illegal immigrant (actual, not accused), many people get angry and demand that the existing laws are enforced. Very few talk about changing the system in any significant way.

So far as guns, if the people in Florida want to change the law, they can.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

When gamers go bad... All that virtual killing has gotta take a toll.

Yeah, sure, there you go, it's video games causing all these shootings!

Not sure who's getting virtually killed in Madden NFL 19 by the way.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

When gamers go bad... All that virtual killing has gotta take a toll.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

You're own fault America. I have no pity for you anymore with your STUPID gun laws...

I think you mean lack of gun laws.

There's that combined with the sick gun culture promoted by the NRA and the total perversion of the true intention of the Second Amendment.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

We have enough gun laws in place, problem is, a lot of them are not severely strictly enforced as in the case of Chicago.

Using gangbangers engulfed in civil war is bs way to obfuscate the issue and argue for 2nd amendment rights.

Be a manly 2nd amendment-er and talk responsibly and admit that it has flaws.

How many non-chicagoans/ non-gangbanging/ middle-class-done everything by the book maniacs have shot up innocent folks while their backs were turned in the USA in the last year? Everytime your response is to revert the issue to chicago. C'mon man!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Many states do not allow open carry of firearms, but it makes no difference. The shooters all are liberal left winger Democrats or associated with the Democrats. Quit trying to blame the NRA, etc. who are the biggest gun safety organization in America. You don't see NRA members doing any shooting.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Life imitating art.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

When a single person is murdered by someone accused of being an illegal immigrant, they demand we change the system immediately to make sure this never happens again, and it doesn't matter who gets hurt in the collateral damage of the policy change.

When several people are murdered by someone with easy access to guns, they demand we calm down and not call for change because it's not like the government actually has the power to prevent violence from someone with evil in their heart, and besides we can't make a policy that inconveniences innocent gun hobbyists.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Simply put, be aware of your surroundings ANYwhere in the world (Paris, Barcelona, Belgium), or you're asking for trouble. Of course, you COULD always wander around with your face burried in your cell phone, it's your choice.

Do you think that the people out enjoying the competition were asking for trouble?

This is America.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

You're own fault America. I have no pity for you anymore with your STUPID gun laws... 100% preventable.

Please stop with the anti gun rhetoric. There is a larger problem and taking guns away is only a band aid. Not that that would be possible anyway.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Welcome to my town, if you don't like it; LEAVE.

I've lived there off an on for fourty years, aside from the decades living in and out of Japan / Okinawa.

Not ONCE have I ever seen even so much as a FIST fight, but there is crime everywhere.

Simply put, be aware of your surroundings ANYwhere in the world (Paris, Barcelona, Belgium), or you're asking for trouble. Of course, you COULD always wander around with your face burried in your cell phone, it's your choice.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Don’t know what this guys emotional problem was, but I wan to hear more details first about his background.

Yeah, so you can make it all about the individual, not the laws that enabled him to do what he did.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I wan to hear more details first about his background.

____

I first heard this on NHK radio and they repeatedly described the killer being a "white male" which was slightly interesting. Japanese news had never before brought race into a reported mass shooting that I can recall.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

RIP to the victims.

Let me guess - the answer is more guns?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

We don’t need anyone trying to erode our 2nd amendment.

I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks!

(Trump Tweet)

Like Trump?

I wan to hear more details first about his background.

Dylan Roof is a white supremacist Trump supporter. The Stoneman Douglas High School shooter is a Trump supporter who wore MAGA hat.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

My thoughts are that Republicans won’t do anything, and my prayers are that they’ll be voted out of office. 

This violence must stop.

Florida, if you're dumb enough this November to replace moderate Democrat Bill Nelson with NRA/Koch lackey/Dump supporter right winger Rick Scott, you reap what you sow.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Here come the liberal comments on how gun laws need to be changed etc blah blah blah. Never mind the fact that criminals don't care about the law!

-16 ( +7 / -23 )

Another day in the US, another mass killing with guns. It’s pretty obvious the US is not going to change it’s guns laws.

We have enough gun laws in place, problem is, a lot of them are not severely strictly enforced as in the case of Chicago.

Therefor, they must make metal detectors mandatory in all public venues. Restaurants, shops, clubs and pubs.

I agree.

However, this will make no difference until they invoke a law against carrying weapons in public.

That might not be unreasonable request to look into.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Another day in the US, another mass killing with guns. It’s pretty obvious the US is not going to change it’s guns laws. Therefor, they must make metal detectors mandatory in all public venues. Restaurants, shops, clubs and pubs. However, this will make no difference until they invoke a law against carrying weapons in public.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You're own fault America. I have no pity for you anymore with your STUPID gun laws... 100% preventable.

We don’t need anyone’s pity. We don’t need anyone trying to erode our 2nd amendment. Don’t know what this guys emotional problem was, but I wan to hear more details first about his background.

-27 ( +6 / -33 )

Next, "thoughts and prayers", then complaints about politicization, also blame mental health, and finally forget all of it until the next shooting.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

This story has no business in a Japan paper, we want to read about Japan news.

Don't include me in your we.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

You're own fault America. I have no pity for you anymore with your STUPID gun laws... 100% preventable.

It's not normal Americans' fault.  It is 0.000001% Americans who control the country and the world.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

When you attend a video game tournament in Florida, your taking your life into your hands.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

You're own fault America. I have no pity for you anymore with your STUPID gun laws... 100% preventable.

18 ( +27 / -9 )

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