Gunman among 3 dead in shooting at video game tournament in Jacksonville

9 others injured during mass shooting at Jacksonville Landing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three people were killed and nine others were wounded in a shooting Sunday at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, authorities said.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams identified the gunman as David Katz, 24, of Baltimore. Williams said Katz killed himself.

The shooting happened about 1:30 p.m. inside the Chicago Pizza restaurant in the Jacksonville Landing complex, a waterfront mall. People were gathered for a Madden NFL 19 tournament. Gunshots and screams can be heard in a live-streaming video of the tournament.

Federal agents with the FBI were searching Katz's home Sunday night and searching for clues as to what prompted the alleged gunman to open fire.

Local 10 News obtained a picture that the Buffalo Bills posted on Twitter last year. It shows Katz holding up a championship jersey after winning the Madden tournament in 2017.

David Katz, 24, was identified as the gunman who opened fire during a Madden NFL video game tournament at the Jacksonville Landing.


While police still don't know what prompted the gunman to open fire, witnesses believe a tournament elimination may have played a role.

"My friend (who) came out of there, he was saying, like, it was over a Madden game," a witness said. "He lost over a Madden game, got mad, went out to his car and came back and just shot everybody." 

Ryan Alemon, who came from Texas to participate in the gaming tournament, said he ducked down and ran toward the restroom when he heard the gunshots. He stayed there for about 10 minutes and then ran from the scene.

"I'm still shocked. I can hardly talk," Alemon told CNN.

The gunman was a gamer who was competing in the tournament and lost, Steven "Steveyj" Javaruski, one of the competitors, told the Los Angeles Times.

Jason Lake, CEO of Complexity Gaming, said one of his pro players, Drini Gjoka, was injured in the shooting.

"We're obviously shocked and saddened by this afternoon's events. Our player, Drini, was hit in the thumb but is going to be fine. He managed to escape and run down the street to a nearby gym," Lake said. "He's currently cooperating with the authorities and we will be flying him out of Jacksonville as soon as we are given the green light from the officials on the ground."

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke with President Donald Trump about the shooting on Sunday afternoon.

"He offered any federal resources needed to respond. (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) and the Florida Highway Patrol are currently assisting local law enforcement," Scott said.

Scott's office said the governor would be traveling to Jacksonville Sunday evening to be briefed by local authorities.


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About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.