Two people have died after being fatally shot during a video game tournament at a shopping complex in Jacksonville, Florida. The gunman took his own life inside the plaza after carrying out the shooting.
Police-in-charge Sheriff Mike Williams confirmed that nine other people suffered gunshot wounds and two people were injured fleeing the area. The gunman was identified as 24-year old David Katz, of Baltimore, Maryland.
One of the victim is in serious condition as he had multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. At least three patients were shot once, and three were shot more than once, according to UF Health hospital where the victims were taken.
The shooting occurred at the Jacksonville Landing complex during a qualifying event for the Madden 19 Tournament at the GLHF Game Bar, CompLexity Gaming, one of the gaming teams, said on Twitter. Police refused to confirm local media reports that Katz began shooting after becoming angry following a loss at the gaming tournament.
Gamers were playing the American football game Madden at the GLHF Game Bar. In an online stream of the Madden event posted to the website Twitch, several loud gunshots can be heard and the game abruptly stops.
After several shots ring out, people can be heard screaming, and one person cries out, "Oh f**, what'd he shoot me with?" The stream did not show the shooting.
This video is reportedly footage from a shooting from the Madden 19' qualifiers playoff tournament at the @GLHFGameBar at Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville, Florida. (h/t @exxoticxH1) pic.twitter.com/pLFbF8yHCZ
— Beatrice-Elizabeth Peterson (@MissBeaE) August 26, 2018
EA Sports, the company that owns Madden and approved the competition, said it was working with the authorities to gather the facts.
The Jacksonville shooting comes six months after Florida was devastated by the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland when 17 people were killed. The Jacksonville shooting has again reignited the debate for gun-control as the U.S. reels under an epidemic of gun violence.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a mass shooting, released a statement following the shooting and pointed out that increasingly mass shootings are happening in places frequented by children and youth.
We do not have to accept these horrific acts of violence as routine. Congress knows steps they can take to stop this madness. Too many of them simply lack the courage to act.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) August 26, 2018
Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit organisation tracking near real-time reporting of American gun violence incidents says that the first eight months in 2018 have seen 8,489 gun deaths; 401 children shot; 1,680 teenagers shot and 203 mass shooting events.