Jacksonville Mass Shooting Leaves Three Dead at Madden Tournament

Jacksonville Mass Shooting Leaves Three Dead at Madden Tournament

Madden ’19 tournament taking place at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida, took a tragic turn when a shooter opened fire yesterday. Three people are dead, including the shooter, and about 11 people have been injured.

 What we know so far.

Around 1:30 PM EST, a gunman opened fire with a handgun at GLHF (an acronym for “Good luck. Have Fun”) Game Bar in the Jacksonville Landing, a marketplace and entertainment area in southern Jacksonville, Florida. At the time, some of the patrons were playing in an official Madden Championship Series tournament, where players competed in Madden ’19. It was a $5,000 tournament and a qualifying event for an EA Sports-hosted tournament later this year. The tournament was being livestreamed on Twitch, and the video/audio can be seen here (Warning: Disturbing Content).

Sheriff Mike Williams, who spoke at a 4:30 press briefing that day, said that there were three deaths. The shooter was among the deceased. Official sources say 11 more people were injured, nine from gunfire, and two by other means. Fortunately, all the wounded are in stable condition. The shooter is 24-year-old David Katz, a white male from Baltimore, Maryland and a participant in the tournament. A tweet from the Buffalo Bills’ Twitter from 2017 shows him having won a Madden ’17 tournament:

Authorities have searched his Baltimore home where his parents live.

So far, the most likely motive for the shooting seems to be anger over losing the tournament. In a series of Twitter posts, Tampa Bay Times reporter Megan Reeves summarized a talk with two witnesses:

In addition, there’s an interview with one of the witnesses who beat David in the tournament:

EA Sports also sent out a brief two-part statement, plus a final message:

More information on what has happened will be added as it releases. We here at Geekisphere wish the best for the victims, their friends, and their families.


6:45 PM EST, 8/28: The two deceased victims have been identified by their fellow players. They are 27-year-old Taylor Robinson and 22-year-old Eli Clayton.

6:12 AM EST, 8/29: Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, has announced that the remaining qualifier events have been cancelled:

The event was a qualifying tournament for the Madden Classic, our first Madden EA Major competition of this season. While these qualifying events are operated independently by partners, we work with them to ensure competitive integrity and to gather feedback from players. We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators. We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events.

We’ve all been deeply affected by what took place in Jacksonville. This is the first time we’ve had to confront something like this as an organization, and I believe the first time our gaming community has dealt with a tragedy of this nature. Please take time to support each other through this challenging time.

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