A single shooter opened fire on a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday afternoon. Initial reports suggest four are dead and at least 11 are injured.
At a police briefing held at 4:30 pm ET, Sheriff Mike Williams of Duval County would not confirm the number of dead and injured, but confirmed that there were deceased people at the scene, which took place at the GLHF Game Bar, located at The Landing, an open-air marketplace in downtown Jacksonville.
“We just finished cleaning The Landing of potential witnesses and victims,” Williams said, later adding that the suspect was a white male who was deceased. The police were “still working to confirm his identity.”
“We have no outstanding suspects at this time,” Williams told the press.
The shooting broke out during a qualifying event for the officially sanctioned Madden 19 Championship Series, which was being live-streamed on Twitch. Live video of the competitors themselves cut to a full-screen shot of the gameplay feed as the shooting began, but audio of gunshots and screaming victims was still being captured. Twitch has since removed the video, though it is available on YouTube. Be aware the video is extremely disturbing.
Sheriff Williams acknowledged that the police were aware of the video, and urged anyone who might have additional video or audio of the event to make it available to the police.
Madden publisher EA Sports tweeted a brief message saying “we are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville. 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.”
Drini Gjoka, a Madden player for compLexity gaming, tweeted “The tourney just got shot up. Im leavinng [sic] and never coming back. I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb.” CompLexity said in a statement that Drini was “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.”
Competitor Chris “Dubby” McFarland says he was also among those hurt at the event, tweeting “they took me to the hospital. Bullet grazed my head. I feel fine, just a scratch on my head. Traumatized and devastated.”
Tim “oLarry2K” Anselino, a pro NBA2K player for Bucks Gaming, was also one of the shooting’s victims, according to a tweet from his mother.
[Update 7:45 pm ET: Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams has confirmed that the shooter killed two people and injured at least seven before taking his own life. Two other people were injured while leaving the building.
Williams identified 24-year-old Baltimore resident and tournament competitor David Katz as the shooter. The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore authorities and the FBI are assisting with the investigation.
Ars will continue to update this story as new information comes to light.]