MAITLAND, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The CEO of EA says he will cancel the remaining Madden Classic qualifier events after two people were fatally shot and nine others injured at a "Madden NFL 19" tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.
In a statement Monday evening Andrew Wilson said, "We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators. We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events."
Sheriff Mike Williams said 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore specifically targeted fellow gamers attending the tournament on Sunday before killing himself.
The shooting has shaken the gaming world, stunning players like Bilal Almashni. Almashni, who goes by "Billy," or by his Twitter handle "Supreme Puller," is a professional gamer for Magic Gaming.
“That could have been me, ya know? I do something very similar. They just do the football version. I do the basketball version & that could’ve been me,” Almashni tells the News Station.
The Jacksonville shooting hitting closer to home for the NBA 2k league player, who knows one of the players that was shot.
“My heart dropped when I first heard, like, he wasn’t replying at first. I was like man, I hope he’s good. Ya know? He finally got back to me and word got out that he was doing better,” says Almashni.
He’s talking about player Tim Anselimo, better known by his Twitter handle "Olarry2k." Anselimo tweeting out Monday, “Still in shock. Woke up crying knowing today’s surgery will determine if I’ll ever be able to play video games again.”
For Almashni, he says the reality of a career ending injury is true for players both on and off the court.
“He was shot in his hand and that can mess up the future for him playing. He put up a picture also of his backpack and there was blood stains on it, and like wow. That’s tough. It’s insane.”
For now, Anselimo’s gaming future is unknown, but his colleague, Almashni, hopes that everyone involved can get back in the game.
“Mentally get back to where they are because seeing something like that, it’s kinda tough to come back from.”