Three dead, including gunman, at Florida gaming tournament shooting

The gunman, David Katz, killed two people, injuring around 11 people before killing himself at the Madden NFL19 gaming event in Jacksonville, Florida

The Jacksonville landing where the shooting took place.
The Jacksonville landing where the shooting took place.

A participant in a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, shot dead two people before killing himself, police say.

Police believe that suspect David Katz, 24, from Baltimore, acted alone.

Jacksonville sheriff Mike Williams confirmed on Sunday evening that two people were shot dead and nine suffered gunshot wounds. The gunman killed himself. Two others were injured during chaos as people fled, Williams said.

The victims are not being officially named until their next-of-kin are informed, although tributes to two gamers have started appearing on social media.

Some unconfirmed reports say Katz had become angry after losing at the American football eSports event.

Several dozen gamers had been playing or watching others play the Madden NFL19 football video game, which simulates American football.

“The suspect used at least one handgun to commit this act,” said Williams.

A video stream of the event being aired on the Twitch platform appears to show two competitors playing a game when a red dot flashes on one of their sweatshirts, followed by gunfire.

Drini Gjoka, a 19-year-old player taking part, described the shooting in a series of posts on Twitter, calling it "the worst day of [his] life".

He tweeted that a bullet had hit his thumb.

Earlier in the afternoon, the sheriff’s office announced the event to the world with a tweet: “Mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing”.

It added: “Stay far away from the area. The area is not safe at this time. STAY AWAY.” The warning was for media too.

The sheriff then said: “Multiple fatalities at the scene, many transported. One suspect is dead at the scene, unknown at this time if we have a second suspect. Searches are being conducted.

Some reports in US media say Katz was a known gamer, using the name "Bread" or "Sliced Bread", and had been the winner of at least one Madden championship in 2017.

He was believed to have been staying in a nearby hotel.

EA Sports, the company that owns Madden and approved the competition, told the BBC it was "devastated by this horrific event... a senseless act of violence that we strongly condemn".

It sent its heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims.

Florida has seen several mass shootings in recent years, including at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, when 49 people died, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland in February this year, when 17 people were killed.

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