An ordinary day of competition turned to tragedy when a participating player open fired on during a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville.
The event was held on Sunday, August 26th at the GLHF Game Bar. It was the first qualifier tournament for the Madden Classic series with about 150 in attendance. At around 1:30pm, competitor David “Bread” Katz walked through Chicago Pizza into the back to the Game Bar. Katz was carrying two illegally purchased handguns, laser sight, and extra ammunition.
The tournament was streaming live on Twitch before the shooting began. The video feed cut out once the first shots were fired, but the audio continued as sounds of gunfire were heard clearly by online viewers.
By the time the shooting stopped, two victims were dead and 11 more were wounded. The first death was Elijah “Trueboy” Clayton who was competing in a match at the time of his death. The second was another player and a 27 year-old father-of-one named Taylor “SpotMePlzz” Robertson.
Katz then turned the gun on himself before authorities could intervene.
During a news conference that evening, Sheriff Mike Williams of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office stated that Katz had “clearly targeted other gamers.” Law enforcement confirmed that all surviving victims of the shooting were expected to recover from their injuries. Williams also stated that authorities were unable to determine a motive, but the Associated Press would later report that Katz had previously been hospitalized for mental illness.
Electronic Arts posted a statement on Twitter regarding the shooting, calling it “an inconceivable tragedy.” EA joined fans in mourning the loss of Robertson and Clayton stating “they earned the admiration of all who watched them compete and we will miss them greatly”
EA has announced that the remaining three qualifier tournaments would be canceled in light of the tragedy.