On Sunday, August 26, 2018, a shooting at a Madden 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida left three people dead and eleven more wounded. The suspect—identified as 24-year old David Katz—entered the GLHF Game Bar armed with a handgun and fired more than ten times before turning the gun on himself. Three people, including the gunman, were killed, and nine more were wounded by bullets. Two additional people were injured as the crowd fled the scene.
The two fatalities were identified as Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, West Virginia and Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California. Taylor Poindexter, Drini Gjoka, Dalton Kent, and Timothy Anselimo are among those reported injured.
The GLHF Game Bar at the Jacksonville Landing Mall was the site of a regional qualifying Madden 19 tournament. Firefighters were able to respond within two minutes as they were participating in routine training just across the street from the venue.
Mayor Lenny Curry commented on the tragedy “We have faced an occurrence that is all too common. Tonight, we pray for the wounded and we pray for the families of those who were lost.”
EA, publisher of Madden 19, released a statement about the Madden shooting on Twitter.
— Electronic Arts (@EA) August 27, 2018
The tragic situation that occurred Sunday in Jacksonville was a senseless act of violence that we strongly condemn. Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the victims whose lives were taken today and those who were injured.
All of us at Electronic Arts are devastated by this horrific event, and we also join the community in thanking the first responders who were quickly on the scene.
Our focus right now is on those affected, and supporting law enforcement as they continue their investigation into this crime.
Additional game studios, publishers, and developers have spoken up in solidarity of the gaming community during this time of grief. Bethesda released a statement on Twitter supporting EA. Bungie was supposed to release the Destiny 2: Forsaken launch trailer on Monday, August 27, but delayed it. “Out of respect for the victims in Jacksonville, Florida, we will be observing a day of silence on all Bungie and Destiny channels.” The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) also released a statement about the shooting.
While motivation for the shooting remains unclear, Katz was a previous competitor in Madden tournaments, winning the Madden 17 Bills Championship back in February 2017. Some reports have Katz as a participant in this tournament, having lost earlier in the day and returned with a handgun. Investigations into the shooting remain ongoing.
The entire incident was live streamed on Twitch. No video of the shooting itself has surfaced (the player camera cuts out just before the shooting begins), but player chat audio picked up the gunfire and screams of attendees as panic ensued. Due to the horrific nature of the footage, we will not be posting the audio/video of the Madden shooting.