Update, 6:35 p.m. PT: Authorities confirmed that three people died at the shooting, including the suspect, David Katz, a 24-year-old from Baltimore who competed at the tournament. There were 11 others wounded; all are in stable condition.
Original story: A mass shooting occurred at a Madden Champions Series esports tournament in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday afternoon, with NPR reporting “multiple fatalities.” The shooting occurred as elements of the tournament were livestreamed on Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming service.
As video game commentators shared information about the tournament on the livestream, multiple gunshots can be heard. The video is available on CNN, but we warn readers that it is graphic in nature. Sources tell CNN that there are at least 11 victims, and four are dead.
The shooting occurred inside Chicago Pizza, a restaurant at the Jacksonville Landing, a waterfront location that’s home to multiple events throughout the year, including the annual Christmas tree lighting and the New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and Earth Day festivities.
In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Sheriff Mike Williams said that there are no outstanding suspects, and that the building has been cleared. He described the shooter, who is deceased, as a white male.
Reports suggest that the shooter was a competitor in the tournament, and after losing a match opened fire and then shot himself. The sheriff did not address that in the press conference.
According to @ImSteveyJ, the Jacksonville shooter was a competitor in the Madden tournament that lost, opened fire on multiple people after, and then killed himself. One person hit includes NBA 2K pro player @oLARRY2K. https://t.co/0eHARZV049
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 26, 2018
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office issued a series of Tweets during the incident.
We are finding many people hiding in locked areas at The Landing. We ask you to stay calm, stay where you are hiding. SWAT is doing a methodical search inside The Landing. We will get to you. Please don’t come running out. #TheLandingMassShooting https://t.co/qBJvkaO7xT
— Jax Sheriff’s Office (@JSOPIO) August 26, 2018
Electronic Arts, maker of the Madden video game tweeted:
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.
— Electronic Arts (@EA) August 26, 2018
The shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar inside the Chicago Pizza at the southeastern qualifier for the Madden NFL Championship Series for Madden NFL 19, with winners competing to participate in the finals this October in Las Vegas. “We’re Jacksonville’s home for gamers and nerds alike,” the GLHF Game Bar website notes. Up to $5,000 in prize money was available for today’s tournament, according to a description on Matcherino, a Seattle company that tracks esports.
Matcherino provided the ticketing platform for the event, said Michael Ahern, the company’s chief marketing officer. Authorities contacted the company following the incident. The suspect registered for the tournament using its platform.
We are deeply saddened by the events today at GLHF bar in Jacksonville. We have everyone affected in our thoughts.
— Matcherino (@matcherino_) August 26, 2018
Twitch stopped the event’s official stream and removed content as the site was made aware of the incident.
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.
— Twitch (@Twitch) August 26, 2018
We’ve reached out to Amazon and Twitch for comment, and we will update this post as we learn more.
Video games have frequently drawn the ire of parents and politicians for playing a role in mass shootings, with President Trump weighing in on the matter earlier this year after the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida claimed 14 lives. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was an avid video gamer.
A report by gaming site Polygon earlier this year found that of the 33 mass school shootings between 1980 and 2018, four of the shooters were identified as avid video gamers.