Shooting in Jacksonville leaves three dead including gunman

Ava Riach, Business Manager

Three people are dead and 11 injured after a mass shooting occurred on August 26, 2018 at a Madden NFL ’19 video gaming tournament. The event was held at the Good Luck Have Fun (GLHF) Game Bar in Jacksonville, Fla. About 130 to 150 people were in attendance, including both the participants and audience. The shooter, 24-year-old David Katz, was a participant in the tournament. Katz reportedly brought two handguns and extra ammunition to the bar, which was all legally purchased. After losing a game, he left the tournament, returned with one of the guns and fired 12 times.

Madden NFL is an American football game series made by EA Tiburon in Maitland, Florida for Electronic Arts (EA) Sports. It is based off of Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden. EA Sports is a part of Electronic Arts and makes sports video games. They are known for the realistic qualities and details. The game is portrayed as though it is a real television sports broadcast. They have so far sold over 100 million copies of Madden NFL and release annual versions of the game.

“When an event like this happens I feel upset, scared, and unsafe because as often as it happens it is so unexpected,” said Zoe Williams, freshman.

Three people were killed, including Katz and 11 were injured by the gunman. The two people killed were 28-year-old Taylor “SpotMePlzzz” Robertson and 22-year-old Elijah “trueboy” Clayton. Both were professional “Madden” players taking part in the tournament with Robertson winning the Madden Classic tournament in 2017. Ten people were taken to local hospitals with gun-related injuries, and one person was treated for an injury not caused by the gunman. A motive has not yet been determined, but there is speculation that Katz targeted certain people in attendance.

Katz used the name “Bread” when gaming and had won Madden tournaments in 2017. He was a student at the University of Maryland, according to university spokeswoman Katie Lawson. He enrolled in Sept. 2014 but has not been registered for classes as of August 26, 2018. According to CNN, it has been recorded that Katz has undergone treatment for “psychological and emotional issues.” He was placed on an antipsychotic medicine used to treat people with schizophrenia, yet there is no evidence to prove he has schizophrenia according to his father, Richard Katz. Katz was placed on two antidepressants and hospitalized twice as well.

Since the shooting, EA has decided to cancel all future Madden events. EA has also made a fund called the Jacksonville Tribute, where they donated one million dollars. The fund is to support the victims from the shooting, and will be open for others to donate. EA will be hosting a Jacksonville Tribute Livestream September 6 to unite the gaming community.

“It’s a mental health issue, and an accessibility to guns that’s a problem, but the government’s not doing enough for either one,” said Trena Kirby, social studies teacher.

President Donald Trump has since commented on the events in Jacksonville Aug. 27 2018 during a dinner with evangelical leaders.

“I want to extend our prayers and condolences to the victims of the tragic shooting in Jacksonville, Florida. That was a terrible thing indeed. How it happens, nobody really knows,” said Trump.