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During a live-stream tournament of the new game Madden NFL 19 on Twitch on Sunday, a gunman opened fire, resulting in three deaths, including his own. The tournament was being held at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida.
In a press conference early Sunday night, Sheriff Mike Williams of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that the suspect is believed to be a 24-year-old white male named David Katz from Baltimore. He was believed to have stayed somewhere locally, possibly a hotel, before allegedly taking a handgun to the event and killing two people before taking his own life. His vehicle has been impounded, and Williams said more details will become available in the “next couple hours.”
In all, Williams said there were 14 victims who were either transported to local hospitals or took their own transportation. “All are in stable condition,” Williams said.
Earlier Sunday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department confirmed the shooting on its Twitter page: “Mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing. Stay far away from the area. The area is not safe at this time. STAY AWAY #TheLandingMassShooting.”
ATF also responded to the shooting.
“We can’t stress enough to stay away. Many blocks away,” they said in a subsequent tweet.
The tournament was broadcast on the establishment’s Twitch channel. During the stream Sunday, as two gamers are playing the new sports title, multiple shots can be heard off-camera.
The players eventually react to the shots, as they continue, and the video cuts off after shouts and cries can be heard among the gunfire. Twitch has since taken the video down.
Later Sunday, the official Twitch account tweeted the message: “We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Jacksonville today. Twitch and all its staff send our deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones, and everyone in our community who’s grieving today.”
Electronic Arts also released a statement via Twitter late Sunday night:
— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) August 27, 2018
Shortly after news of the shooting broke, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department confirmed via Twitter that there were “multiple fatalities at the scene.”
Minutes later, it confirmed that “[o]ne suspect is dead at the scene, unknown at this time if we have a second suspect. Searches are being conducted.”
Authorities advised citizens in the area to “stay calm, stay where you are hiding” as SWAT forces performed a “methodical search” of the Jacksonville Landing area.
“We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville,” a spokesperson for EA told The Hollywood Reporter. “We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage. This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.”
Both Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson released statements on the shooting.
“I’ve spoken to @JSOPIO Mike Williams to offer any state resources he may need,” Scott tweeted. “FDLE is currently responding, and I have spoken to FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen regarding the shooting in Jacksonville. We will continue to receive updates from law enforcement.”
Nelson wrote, “Word of another tragic mass shooting in our state brings shock and outrage. Right now, law enforcement are doing their jobs under horrific circumstances and it’s important that people in the Jacksonville area heed their warnings.”
At an earlier press conference Sunday, Williams confirmed the one suspect without giving his name. “We have no outstanding suspects at this time,” Williams said. “We have one suspect in this case. He is deceased at the scene. He is a white male and we are still working to confirm his identity.”
Williams confirmed victim fatalities in the shooting as well as others hospitalized and wounded, but did not give precise numbers: “We will release counts later on.”
He also addressed a video that is circulating that features audio of the shooting itself. “??We are aware of a video on social media…we would encourage people with video or any additional information to reach out to us,” Williams said.
Aug. 26, 11:52 a.m. Updated with information of Twitch’s removal of the video and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirming fatalities at the scene.
Aug. 26, 11:55 a.m. Updated with news of one shooter found dead at scene.
Aug. 26, 1:36 p.m. Updated with Sheriff Mike Williams’ statements at media briefing.
Aug. 26, 4:28 p.m. Updated with Twitch’s tweet.
Aug. 26, 5:16 p.m. Updated with details about the victims and the suspect.
Aug. 26, 8:04 p.m. Updated with Electronic Arts’ statement.
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