JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — New details are emerging in the deadly mass shooting at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville that left two dead and nearly a dozen wounded.
- Jacksonville Sheriff: 'At least' 1 gun used in mass shooting
- Dozen people found shot at Madden gaming tournament
- Gaming community shares tributes on social media to 2 killed
The gunfire erupted Sunday afternoon at the Madden 19 NFL Classic at Jacksonville Landing, an entertainment district, where professional gamers were competing in a tournament.
It took law enforcement just two minutes to arrive at the Chicago Pizza Restaurant after the first 911 call at 1:34 p.m., where they found 13 victims in the incident, 12 of which were shot, and one sustained a non-gunshot wound.
Two victims died on scene.
Two people were still being treated at University of Florida Shands hospital Monday morning. Four others have been discharged. The conditions of five others were unknown, but they are expected to recover from their injuries, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says.
The suspected shooter, 24-year-old David Katz, of Baltimore, shot himself dead, authorities say. Investigators say after he lost a match, he became angry, went to his vehicle to grab a handgun, and as he walked back into the gaming venue, he opened fire.
Katz went by the gaming handle "Beard" and has won gaming tournaments in the past. Last year, he was the Madden 17 champion.
Williams said deputies found and impounded Katz's vehicle Sunday night. One firearm was used in the shooting, but another handgun and additional ammo was later found, according to the sheriff. The handguns were allegedly recently bought.
"We know that the suspect used at least one handgun to commit this act, and we are working with our partners at ATF on that aspect of the investigation. So I will not be discussing any details pertaining to the motive at this time," Williams said.
Although no concrete motive is clear at this time, Williams said there was no indication he planned the event ahead of the shooting. Katz also reportedly knew some of the shooting victims.
Helping in this case is the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who searched Katz's Baltimore home Sunday evening.
"The tragic situation that occurred Sunday in Jacksonville was a senseless act of violence that we strongly condemn," Madden games developer EA Sports said in a released statement. "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."
Witnesses, local businesses react
One of the fill-in announcers at the tournament who was within feet at times of people being shot, recalled what he saw. With tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat, Toshiba Sharon said the scene was chaotic and lasted almost 40 seconds.
"Forget the commotion, forget the mass shooting per se, but just understand that there are people like you and I that are dying out here for no reason."
The names and pictures of two gamers thought to have been killed were being widely circulated among the gaming community on social media: Elijah "TrueBoy" Clayton and Taylor "SpotMePlzz" Robertson.
Robertson was a father and husband, and Clayton a young adult with a promising future in the gaming world.
Sharon said he can't believe he made it out unharmed. His co-announcer was not as lucky.
"He was shot twice in the chest, and I... I just couldn't believe he was shot, because he was right next to me," Sharon said.
Sharon said he helped try to save others who were wounded, but he knew some could not be saved.
"I checked the one young boy, Eli Clayton... He was gone. But a couple of other friends... They, ya know, one kid was shot in his lower back. We laid him down, and then another kid was grazed in his neck. He made his way out when the cops came, but I just, I couldn't leave."
He describes the gaming world as a brotherhood, with people who are loved and will now be missed.
"This is bigger than a video game. I just would like people to understand that," Sharon said.
Naly Vega was pumped for her Cinco De Mayo restaurant's big event at the Jacksonville Landing until her employees heard gunshots.
"To everybody in that moment, it was chaotic," Vega said.
Vega, pregnant, a restaurant full of customers, and her employees said they were terrified separated only by a wall between them and the shooter.
"I just saw people running to my kitchen door just people started coming through my kitchen door, and when that happened one of the servers comes in and tells me, 'Naly there is a shooting,' and once she tells me that, I took off my apron, and I shut out all the doors and told everyone they needed to hide," she said.
Vega said Tuesday was the first day she got to go back into her restaurant after leaving lights, televisions, and appliances on in her kitchen.
"We lost people out of this ... it's not fair that people had to lose their lives over a game," Vega said.
Katz's family is cooperating with the investigation and will be handing over requested records.
Reporter Brittany Jones contributed to this story.