Before Shooting at Gaming Tournament, a Chilling Sight

Red laser dot appeared on competitor before gunfire began; 3 dead, including gunman
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2018 12:30 AM CDT
Red Laser Dot Appeared on Gamer Before Shooting
A law enforcement boats patrol the St. Johns River near the Jacksonville Landing, site of a mass shooting on Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla.   (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

The details from Sunday's mass shooting at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., have begun to settle: Police say a gunman killed two people and himself during the video game competition within a riverfront entertainment venue called the Jacksonville Landing, reports the New York Times. At least nine others were shot, but all are expected to survive. Two others were injured in the ensuing chaos. Authorities have identified the gunman as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore; he had traveled to Jacksonville to compete in the "Madden NFL 19" tournament, reports the AP. EA Sports, which makes the game, lists a David Katz as a 2017 champion. Police have not speculated about a motive. One chilling detail: A live-stream of the competition showed a red laser dot appear on the chest of a competitor just before the shooting broke out.

"I heard the first pop and was pretty sure it was a gunshot," competitor Stephen Javaruski tells the Tampa Bay Times. "Then the second shortly after, and I scrambled frantically to the bathroom with like 20 other guys." The content is jarring, but this tweet captures the audio at the moment the gunfire begins. Viewers were able to watch the tournament online, and one who was doing so tells the AP she did not see the shooter's face. "But we did see him with two hands on a gun walking back just popping rounds." Gamer Drini Gjoka tweeted, "I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb." The shooting inside the GLHF Game Bar comes roughly six months after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, and just two days ahead of the state primary in which gun control has been a big issue in the governor's race. (More mass shootings stories.)

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