by Jeremy Rogers
Multiple shooting fatalities have been reported by local news outlets in Jacksonville Landing, Florida as a mass shooting occurred at a Madden Football video game Tournament. Vic Micolucci with WJXT news reported that four people have been killed with 15 victims total according to the latest reporting by CNN. Survivors have been taken to multiple area hospitals.
My sources: 4 dead at Jacksonville Landing. 10 victims. Madden Tournament. All hands on deck. Patients to multiple hospitals.
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) August 26, 2018
Many people were gathered as they participated in a Madden 19 tournament at the GLHF Game Bar, located close on the St. Johns River. A participant in the tournament, Drini Gjoka, tweeted that his thumb was grazed by a bullet before he was able to get to safety. Local reports say that three patients being treated at Jacksonville’s Memorial Hospital are in stable condition.
Doctors say 6 victims at @UFHealthJax.
-5 in stable condition
-1 in critical condition (gunshot wounds to the chest)
Victim age ranges: 20-35 years old@wjxt4 #LandingMassShooting #jacksonville
— Allyson Henning (@AllysonHenning) August 26, 2018
As the tournament was being streamed on Twitch, commentators can be heard as the sound of bullets ring out behind them. The gameplay stops and controllers become disconnected as people can be heard scrambling to evacuate the Game Bar. Victims can be heard crying out as more shots are heard ringing out.
I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb
— Drini Gjoka (@YoungDrini) August 26, 2018
So far, several competitors have taken to Twitter to talk about the status of their peers and themselves in the aftermath of the shooting. Stevey J tweeted “I got out. Police escorted me… Thank god I’m safe but I’m broken over this.” Echo Fox Joe tweeted “Luckily I’m safe. Please keep the madden community in your prayers.” Esports competitor Kiv tweeted, “I’m alright. Please keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers. I’m so shaken right now. I love y’all.” Player BucTillIDie tweeted, “I’m safe, but very scared,” then followed that by tweeting that fellow player oLarry, “was shot in chest and hand I was with him. I have his bag and phone. Plz retweet this to notify 2k community. He is at Florida shands hospital. didn’t look life threatening to me but injured bad. I love you bro.” Player Tweeez tweeted, “Everyone .. I’m good Pray for all the Madden players & @maddenvtech @lynch_toliver Please pull through. thanks for Asking.” Player Michael Skimbo tweeted, “I’m safe everyone. Thank you for the text. In a lost for words right now.”
In a press conference today, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams revealed the identity of the suspect, though this is still pending verification. The shooter was identified as being David Katz, the winner of the 2017 NFL Club Series Championships, thus confirming many eyewitness accounts that identified Katz as the shooter at the scene.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
UPDATES: The article has been updated to reflect the most recent number of victims. Information about victims’ condition as they are being treated in hospitals has also been added.
4:32 p.m. Statements from the players at the tournament were added.
4:35 p.m. Statements from the local police about other shooting suspects were added.
4:45 p.m. The tweet about the condition of patients at UF Health Hospital was added.
9:14 p.m. Information about the identity of the shooter was added after a press conference with the sheriff of Jacksonville aired.
Jeremy is junior majoring in News Journalism and Telecommunications and minoring in Political Science and American History. Though he is Byte’s Senior News Editor, he also writes reviews, features, and guest stars on podcasts.