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Updated: Gunman Takes Lives of 2, Then Himself, at Online Gaming Event

by Ethan Kim
6 comments
Jacksonville shooting

(Updated August 26, 2023) Sheriff T.K. Waters of Jacksonville revealed that the perpetrator, responsible for the recent fatal shooting in Jacksonville, left documents that led authorities to believe his motive was connected to the fifth anniversary of a similar violent episode during a video game event in the same city. In that past incident, a gunman had killed two individuals before turning the weapon on himself.

During a live-streamed video game tournament at a Florida shopping center, a gunman killed two individuals before committing suicide, leaving several others wounded, according to official statements.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams identified the suspected shooter as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, Maryland. Katz allegedly perpetrated the assault at the Jacksonville Landing, a hub of dining establishments and retail stores along the St. Johns River, using at least one handgun. Authorities confirmed that Katz died due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Final identification is still pending as the FBI in Baltimore is assisting with the investigation.

Sheriff Williams also stated that nine other individuals were injured from gunfire and were in stable condition as of Sunday evening, after receiving medical treatment at nearby hospitals. Additionally, two more people sustained injuries in the chaos ensuing from the gunfire.

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Authorities reported that Katz was in Jacksonville to participate in a “Madden NFL 19” tournament. EA Sports, the manufacturer of the video game, listed a David Katz as a 2017 championship winner.

The event took place in a gaming bar which also includes a pizzeria. The competition was accessible for online viewing, allowing audiences to witness the players in action.

Investigators are currently examining an online video that seems to have captured moments preceding the shooting. In the footage, what appears to be a laser pointer can be seen aimed at a player’s chest mere seconds before gunfire erupted.

Marquis Williams, 28, and Taylor Poindexter, 26, both residents of Chicago, were present at the bar ordering pizza when they heard the initial shot around 1:30 p.m., interrupting what had been a peaceful Sunday afternoon. “At first, we thought it was a balloon bursting, but as there were no balloons present, and subsequent shots were fired, we immediately fled,” said Williams.

Both Williams and Poindexter reported a frenzied rush to escape the shooting, with people trampling over each other in their haste. They took refuge in a nearby restaurant where employees were ushering people to safety, remaining there until law enforcement arrived.

Jason Lake, CEO of compLexity, a professional esports company, disclosed via Twitter that one of his players, 19-year-old Drini Gjoka, sustained a gunshot injury to his thumb. Gjoka himself tweeted about the harrowing experience, describing it as “the worst day of my life.”

On Sunday evening, FBI agents conducted a search at a family residence related to the suspected shooter. Heavily armed officers were observed entering a high-end townhouse complex in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

In the nation’s capital, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that President Donald Trump had been informed of the incident and that the situation was being closely monitored.

The Jacksonville Landing, a central locale for diverse events, including concerts and political rallies, was also a site for a Trump campaign rally in 2015.

In response to the tragedy, local law enforcement swiftly sealed off a three-block radius surrounding the shopping center, deploying SWAT teams and bomb squads to secure the area. Authorities also established strategic points on a bridge overlooking the river and the impacted vicinity.


Reporting contributed by Farrington from Tallahassee, Florida, along with Tamara Lush from the Tampa area and Laura Heald from Jacksonville, Florida.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jacksonville shooting

What was the date of the Jacksonville shooting?

The Jacksonville shooting took place on August 26, 2023.

Who was identified as the suspected gunman?

David Katz, a 24-year-old resident of Baltimore, Maryland, was identified as the suspected gunman in the Jacksonville shooting.

How many people were killed and injured?

Two individuals were killed and nine others were wounded by gunfire. Additionally, two people were injured during the rush to flee the scene.

What was the suspected motive behind the shooting?

Authorities believe that the motive behind the shooting was linked to the fifth anniversary of a similar violent episode during a video game event in Jacksonville.

Where did the shooting occur?

The shooting occurred at the Jacksonville Landing, a collection of restaurants and shops along the St. Johns River, during a “Madden NFL 19” video game tournament.

Was the event being live-streamed?

Yes, the video game tournament was being live-streamed online.

What organization or company hosted the tournament?

The information about the hosting organization or company was not provided in the text.

How did law enforcement respond to the situation?

Law enforcement responded by sealing off a three-block radius around the Jacksonville Landing. They deployed SWAT teams and bomb squads to secure the area and also set up positions on a bridge overlooking the site.

Were any prominent figures or organizations involved?

Jason Lake, the CEO of compLexity, a company that owns professional esports teams, announced that one of his players was among those wounded.

What is the current status of the wounded individuals?

As of Sunday evening following the shooting, all nine wounded individuals were in stable condition after receiving medical treatment at nearby hospitals.

More about Jacksonville shooting

  • Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Statement
  • FBI’s Preliminary Investigation Findings
  • EA Sports Official Response
  • CompLexity CEO’s Twitter Update
  • White House Press Briefing on Jacksonville Shooting
  • Local Hospital’s Update on Injured Individuals
  • Video Footage of the Incident
  • Witness Accounts and Interviews

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6 comments

MomofTwo August 27, 2023 - 2:53 pm

As a mom, this terrifies me. My kids love gaming and I can’t even imagine what those families are going thru. Heartbreaking.

Reply
JohnDoe123 August 27, 2023 - 6:09 pm

Man, this is just devastating news. can’t believe this happened again in Jacksonville. Why do we keep seeing this stuff? We need to do something.

Reply
PoliticalView August 28, 2023 - 9:25 am

Sad that even in 2023, we still haven’t found a way to prevent these incidents. Legislation needs to catch up. This shouldn’t be the norm.

Reply
CryptoWiz August 28, 2023 - 10:37 am

Horrible, just horrible. How does a guy like this even get a gun? System’s gotta be flawed, man. There should be checks, real checks, ya know?

Reply
ConcernedCitizen August 28, 2023 - 11:07 am

This is just a reminder of how fragile life is. We need to get to the root of this and fix it. Easier said than done, I know, but we gotta try.

Reply
GamerChick95 August 28, 2023 - 12:37 pm

i’m shocked, I used to play Madden all the time. Never thought a gaming event could turn into a nightmare like this. Prayers for the victims n their families.

Reply

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