Sheriff: 3 dead, including gunman, in shooting at Jacksonville mall
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says three people were killed, including the gunman, during a mass shooting at a video game tournament at a north Florida mall.
Sheriff Mike Williams said Sunday evening he believed the shooter is 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore. He said the FBI was searching the man's home as part of the investigation.
Williams said nine other people were wounded by gunfire and are in stable condition and two others were hurt while fleeing the shots. He says the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
William said Katz committed the shooting with a single handgun. He said Katz was in Jacksonville for the "Madden NFL 19" video game tournament, at Jacksonville Landing, in the heart of the city's downtown. The games maker, EA Sports, lists a David Katz as a 2017 championship winner.
An FBI official in Baltimore has confirmed that agents are searching the family home of the man authorities believe is behind the deadly shooting. FBI spokesman Dave Fitz says agents have gone to the suspect's father's house in Baltimore, but he did not immediately release any other specifics, citing an ongoing investigation.
The video competition was held in a gaming bar that shares space with a pizzeria. Viewers could watch the games online and see the players. Twitch camera captured the shooting. Viewer discretion is advised, as the content is graphic.
Investigators were looking into online video that appeared to capture the scene right before the shooting began, Williams said.
A red dot that appears to be a laser pointer is visible on the chest of a player seconds before the first of a dozen gunshots rings out.
Jason Lake, the founder and CEO of compLexity, a company that owns professional e-sports teams, said on Twitter that one of his players, 19-year-old Drini Gjoka, was shot in the thumb.
Gjoka tweeted: "The tourney just got shot up. Im leavinng and never coming back." Then: "I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb. Worst day of my life."
Fox 35 asked compLexity for a statemnt and they said that "Gjoka was grazed in the hand by a bullet but is ok."
Marquis Williams, 28, and his girlfriend, Taylor Poindexter, 26, both from Chicago, were ordering pizza at the bar when they heard the gunfire. Williams said people trampled each other trying to get away.
"Initially we thought it was a balloon popping, but there weren't any balloons in the room. Then we heard repeat shots and we took off running," said Williams, who participated in the tournament earlier.
The sheriff's office used Twitter and Facebook to warn people to stay far away and to ask anyone who was hiding to call 911.
Police barricaded a three-block radius around the mall. Officers and Coast Guard boats patrolled the nearby river. Many ambulances could be seen in the area, but the mall area appeared empty of all but law enforcement. Police also took up positions on a bridge overlooking the river.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the attack and the White House was monitoring the situation.
Some information from the Associated Press (AP)