2 dead, more wounded in shooting at Florida mall hosting video game tournament

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (KKTV) - A man attending a video game tournament opened fire on his fellow gamers, taking two lives and injuring nearly a dozen others before turning his gun on himself.

Competitors at Sunday's "Madden NFL 19" regional tournament in downtown Jacksonville were stunned and horrified to see a friendly competition spiral into extreme violence.

"No one deserves to die over playing a video game," competitor Derek Jones told the Associated Press.

The moment the shooter began firing was caught on a live stream of the event. As a player kicks a football across a virtual football field, several gunshots can be heard in rapid succession, then screaming, then more gunshots as the screen goes gray and the message "controller disconnected" appears.

A player can be heard yelling, "Oh [expletive], what'd he shoot me with?"

Then another round of gunshots.


Witnesses said panicked competitors were trampling each other as they ran to find cover from the barrage of bullets.

A man eating in a nearby Hooters told CNN a shooting victim burst into the restaurant.

"I was in Hooters, all I heard was, 'He got a gun!' and the shooting started," Mike Brunson told CNN. "One of the men ran into Hooters with the shot wounds -- they locked us in the restaurant."

"I never seen a grown man that shook in my life," one witness told our sister station CBS 47 in Jacksonville. "The look on his face -- the look on everybody's faces like they're terrified."


Authorities say besides the two dead, nine others were injured in the shooting itself, and two more were hurt in the chaotic aftermath. All of the injured have been listed as stable.

The suspect has been identified by law enforcement as 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore. A motive has not been given by authorities, but fellow players says Katz snapped after losing an intense match and started shooting.

One witness told CBS 47 when he beat Katz the day before, he tried to shake his hand afterwards and was met with a blank stare.

The Associated Press reports EA Sports has a David Katz listed as a 2017 tournament winner, but it's unclear if that is the same David Katz accused in the shooting.

Katz was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound by law enforcement who responded to the shooting.