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Mass shooting causes multiple fatalities at competitive gaming event in Florida

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A heavy police presence remains into the night at the shooting outside Jacksonville Landing on August 26, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by AFP)

A gunman opened fire in the middle of a video game tournament in the US state of Florida, killing two people and injuring 11 more before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.

The shooting, which happened around 1:30 pm on Sunday, was connected to a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament at Chicago Pizza in the Jacksonville Landing.

The suspect was identified as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore who used “at least one handgun” on the victims and himself, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said.

Williams did not elaborate on the motive of the shooting, but a witness told reporters that Katz was upset because he had lost the tournament. The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives visited Katz’s residence in Baltimore and impounded his vehicle.

“We have faced an occurrence that is all too common,” Mayor Lenny Curry said. “At terrible times, we see the best in people, and today is no different.”

Gunshots can be heard in recordings of a Madden NFL video game that was  underway in Chicago Pizza at the Landing.

The GLHF Game Bar in the Jacksonville Landing, which was hosting the tournament, has said that all staff members and the owner were able to escape "untouched."

This handout image distributed courtesy of WJXT, a local Jacksonville television station, shows police cars blocking a street leading to the Jacksonville Landing area in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, August 26, 2018. 

"SWAT is doing a methodical search inside The Landing," the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. "We will get to you. Please don't come running out."

US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a gun control advocate who was seriously wounded in a mass shooting in 2012, said in a statement, "The nation once again looks to Florida with grief and heavy hearts."

"The massacre in Jacksonville is a tragic reminder of the threats we face from gun violence, no matter who we are or where our day takes us," said Giffords. "And it's yet another devastating indictment of this country's inability to keep our kids safe."

The shooting site was later secured, according to Jacksonville County Sheriff Mike Williams.


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