Killings in America continue. This time, a mass shooting took place in Jacksonville, Florida, at a tournament for competitive players of a football video game called Madden. The winners of the tournament here would travel to Las Vegas where they could win large cash prizes as this one is a higher level of competition.
The participants arrived at the Jacksonville Landing Complex, which is an open-air marketplace with stores, bars, and restaurants located along the St. Johns River. One of the participants was David Katz, a 24-year-old gamer from Baltimore, Maryland. He was in Jacksonville for the tournament at GLHF Game Bar, but he had other intentions. David brought a gun and opened fire on Sunday, killing two people, but after that, he pointed the gun on himself as Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said. Police still struggles to find a motive behind such an act.
The sheriff confirmed that Katz used one handgun at least and nine other people were injured at the site, with two of them while trying to flee the area. Luckily, the wounded were sent to the hospital quickly, and they are all in stable condition.
The horror was caught in an online stream of the event which people could have watched on the website Twitch. The video is disturbing, and the game stopped after several shots were fired. People started screaming. After 1:30 p.m., people started calling 911, according to Williams and the officials were at the site of the shooting within two minutes.
One of the participants, Ryan Aleman said that he managed to run into the bathroom and wait for ten minutes for everything to pass. “I’m still shocked, I can hardly talk,” he told CNN.
The members of the Jacksonville Fire Station 1 known as “The Rock” had routine training across the street from the Landing at a parking site, and they saw people running, said Randy Wyse, the president of the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters. One of the people who ran showed them a gun wound, and another people followed behind him.
Several firefighters provided the first aid, while the others ran towards the Landing, said Wyse to flag down a police officer. Those who came to the site started treating victims, and they found three dead bodies, one of which was Katz’s.
One of the better players
Katz’s named himself Bread, and he managed to win Madden tournaments in 2017, as multiple gamers confirmed for CNN. In February, the Buffalo Bills posted a tweet of him, after winning the Madden 17 Bills Championship and they wrote: “Congrats to David Katz, the Madden 17 Bills Championship winner! Thanks for following along, Bills fans.”
After that victory, Katz said: “I think personally I’m one of the better players.”
All eyes on Florida
In recent years, there have been several mass shootings in Florida. One of those was when 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, whereas last year five were murdered at the Fort Lauderdale airport. And two years ago, 49 were gunned down at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
“We have got to change,” Gov. Rick Scott told reporters Sunday night. “We’ve got to really stop and say to ourselves: there’s something wrong. Why are young men willing to give up their life, or why don’t they value somebody else’s life? We’ve got to figure this out.”
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in a mass shooting, said in a statement: “The nation once again looks to Florida with grief and heavy hearts. The massacre in Jacksonville is a tragic reminder of the threats we face from gun violence, no matter who we are or where our day takes us. And it’s yet another devastating indictment of this country’s inability to keep our kids safe.”
One of the gamers, who was only 19 and goes by the name of “Drini” was shot in the thumb, but he managed to escape. “To have someone walk into an event like this that’s all about good sportsmanship and teamwork and just good vibes, and do something like this, it’s heartbreaking,” he said. “I think the e-sports industry as a whole is going to have to step back and take a look at further strengthening our security.”