Authorities speak on shooting, shooter identity in Florida
Jacksonville Sheriff Michael Williams speaks after the deadly shooting that took place in Jacksonville, Florida.
A shooting Sunday during a gaming event at a popular shopping center in Jacksonville, Fla., killed two people and wounded several others before the shooter killed, investigators confirmed.
The gunfire was heard around 1 a.m. ET in a video-gaming event held at The Jacksonville Landing, Madden NFL Championship Series. In addition to the two killed in the attack, 11 people were injured, nine of them with gunshot wounds to the Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said at a news conference Sunday night.
Williams said the shooter was believed that the 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore, who was in Florida for the gaming tournament. Law enforcement sources said earlier that four people were killed before the sheriff revised version of the number three.
The coast guard patrols the St. Johns River outside Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville, Florida. Sources told Fox News on Sunday at least four people were killed and 11 others were treated after a “mass” shooting at the popular shopping mall.
(AP Photo/Laura Heald)
The incident is being investigated as a criminal act, not an act of terrorism, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
While the sheriff’s office has taken the lead in the case, the FBI’s Jacksonville office has staff deployed to assist local law enforcement in their investigation.
Video shows moment shots in Florida gaming tournament
A witness at the gaming event told Fox News that anyone participating in the tournament lost, and was angry. An earlier account of the witness stated that the defendant “was crazy and began to shoot at the room,” but later clarifies that, in events like this, “There are several boys who are upset or say things like, ‘BS,’ if you will.”
The police has not confirmed a possible motive.
The player said that he went outside of the building, which he said were about 50 people inside to make a phone call as the shot sounded. He said that he saw people fighting to get out of the place, and he started running from the area.
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, wrote on Twitter was the answer of the shooting in the centre of Jacksonville.
Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville confirmed to Fox News that three people were treated and remained in a stable condition. UF Health Jacksonville has confirmed six victims with gunshot wounds were transferred to the university hospital, all in the age between 20 and 35. The five were in stable condition and one in serious condition.
The Jacksonville Landing zone is located along the St. Johns River and is described as an area with a large variety of waterfront dining options and a cozy inside shopping mall.”
A witness describes the scene of the Jacksonville Landing shooting
A number of people on social media, participate in the Madden NFL tournament, reported hearing gunshots shortly after 1:30 p.m. during the livestream of the tournament on the platform on to the tracks.
A video surfaced on social media see the players disconnecting from the game as shots were heard in the background. At least 12 shots were heard in the video.
A reporter from Fox affiliate WJAX-TV, Brittney Donovan, said at least one person was seen being loaded on a stretcher in an ambulance.
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Madden NFL 19, is a new video game based on the NFL, which was developed and published by EA Sports.
The sheriff’s office said that “many people” were found hiding in the closed areas in the river shopping complex.
“We ask you to remain calm, stay where you are hiding. SWAT is doing a methodical search in The Landing,” said the police. “We will contact you. Please do not come.”
Drini Gjoka, who won in 2018, Madden Challenge, said on Twitter that he was injured in the shooting in a series of posts on Twitter.
“The tournament has just shot up. Im leavinng [sic] and never to come back,” Gjoka wrote.
“I am literally so happy. The bullet hit my thumb,” he said. “The worst day of my life.”
I am literally so happy. The bullet hit my thumb
— Drini Gjoka (@YoungDrini) August 26, 2018
SK-Gaming, a professional eSports organization based in Germany, said he sent a player to the event in Florida that there was a shooting at the tournament.
Worst day of my life
— Drini Gjoka (@YoungDrini) August 26, 2018
“There was a shooting on the Madden tournament in Jacksonville. Our player @JoelCP_ is safe. Our thoughts are with everyone that had to be part of such a horrible event. Stay strong, stay safe,” the organization of the spread.
EA Sports tweeted the company was “aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship game in Jacksonville. We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage. This is a horrific situation, and our deepest sympathy goes out to all involved.”
The NFL tweeted “shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy today in Jacksonville. Our hearts go out to all the victims.”
The south bank is empty. The Northbank riverwalk is. A few boats in the water. #JacksonvilleMassShooting pic.twitter.com/5QwmwHNwj9
— Letisha Bereola (@LetishaANjax) August 26, 2018
“We are grateful to the emergency services, immediately on the scene. We support our partners with EA Sports and will continue to monitor the developments with the local police,” the NFL added.
PRO-GAMERS REACT TO JACKSONVILLE TO SHOOT IN THE MIDDLE OF ‘MADDEN NFL 19’ TOURNAMENT
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump has been informed about the situation, and is monitoring.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott also said his office is the monitoring of what is in Jacksonville, and “offered state support & resources” to the city’s mayor, Lenny Curry.
The Jacksonville Landing hosts more than 600 events each year including Florida/Georgia Weekend Celebrations, the city’s annual christmas tree lighting, in addition to New Year’s Eve and 4th of July celebrations.
Fox News’ Rick Leventhal, Madeleine Rivera, Bryan Llenas, Brooke Singman and Allie Raffa contributed to this report.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam