Thursday, September 20, 2018
Public safety

Who was David Katz, the Jacksonville mass shooter?

Posts on social media are beginning to offer a glimpse into the man accused in Sunday’s mass shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Police identified 24-year-old David Katz as the suspected gunman in the shooting, in which three people — including Katz — died and 11 were wounded.

Though police have yet to identify a motive, Twitter users said Katz was upset about losing two games of Madden earlier in the tournament, refusing to shake hands with the winner after at least one game, a gamer said.

"He’s a well-known competitor," said one gamer to WFOX-TV, who claimed to have beaten Katz on Saturday. "[He was here] all weekend. He had shades on, he didn’t speak to anybody. Even after we played … I went to shake his hand and just tell him good game and he just looked at me. He didn’t say anything."

 

Police say Katz was a native of Baltimore, Md., and may have stayed in a North Florida hotel Saturday night.

The FBI and Baltimore Police raided his home and interviewed family members, the agencies said on social media. Neighbors of Katz’ home, where he stayed with his parents, said they rarely saw or talked to him.

 

Police say Katz carried out the shooting with a handgun. A semi-automatic weapon was also found at the scene.

Earlier Sunday, while Katz was competing in the Madden NFL 19 tournament at GLHF Game Bar at the Jacksonville Landing, a video showed an announcer introducing Katz while his face remained stoic, not acknowledging the announcers’ comments.

"You are not going to see much emotion," the announcer said in a recorded video from the tournament. "David Katz keeps to himself. He’s a man of business. He’s not here to make friends."

 

READ MORE:What Florida’s politicians are saying about Jacksonville mass shooting

Katz had past success at video game tournaments, winning the Madden Bills Championship in 2017, along with $3,500 and the chance to compete in a later contest in Los Angeles.

After the win, in which Katz — a No. 7 seed — pulled off a last-second upset of the tournament’s No. 2 seed, the Buffalo Bills tweeted out congratulations to the then 23-year-old.

 

In a post-game interview following his win, Katz’s face could be described as emotionless, while his eyes wander from looking at the floor to around the room.

 

On Sunday, a recording on live stream platform Twitch shows two competitors playing before Katz opens fire. The stream then ends abruptly as gunshots are heard ringing out.

 

Drini Gjoka, one of the two competitors shown in the live stream, tweeted following the event. He suffered a minor injury.

 

 

 

Following the shooting, EA Sports, the game developer of Madden 19, released the following statement: "We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville," the company said. "We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage. This is a horrible incident and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved."

What's a Madden tournament? Shooting brings attention and sadness to the growing world of eSports

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