Florida Mourns Another Shooting

Shooter Opens Fire at Gaming Tournament in Jacksonville

  It’s a Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville Florida, cheers from gaming fans fill the air. The GLHF Game Bar in the Jacksonville Landing Marketplace is packed with Madden NFL ‘19  gamers competing in the annual tournament. The excited roar of the crowd is soon silenced by something far more sinister, the ominous crack of a 9mm handgun.

  On August 26th at 1:33 PM, a gunman opened fire at the attendees and competitors gathering for the Madden 19 NFL tournament. The shooter, 24-year old David Katz, had been competing in the tournament himself earlier that afternoon. Katz intentionally targeted fellow players, leaving 10 wounded by gunshot, one wounded attempting to flee the scene, and two dead. After firing upon his competitors, Katz committed suicide with his handgun.  

  Katz’s history of mental illness was no secret, having over 20 calls made by his mother to police from 1993-2006 regarding his erratic and violent tendencies. Katz had reportedly seen several psychologists in his life, with one therapist stating that he had experienced a “mental health crisis” in 2006. The suspect had been prescribed antidepressants and antipsychotics from a young age because of his aggressive behavior. Katz’s father disputed his mother over the prescription of said drugs, arguing that he should instead be going to support group meetings. In 2007, the parents divorced due to complications regarding Katz. As a teen, Katz would often refuse to bathe, or attend school, instead choosing to play video games. When video games were not an option, Katz was reported by his mother to have “walked in circles around the house”.

  The firearm used in the shooting was legally purchased in Baltimore, Maryland, an area with restrictive gun laws. Due to the fact that Katz had not been institutionalized in a psychiatric care facility, he was still able to purchase the firearm under federal law. In the state of Maryland, one must pass qualifications for a handgun license. The requirements to get the license include submitting fingerprints, undergoing a federal background check, and enrolling in and passing a firearms safety course. Katz had completed all of the necessary tasks to legally acquire a handgun, while having his mental health history overlooked. Consequently, Taylor Robertson White, 28,  and Elijah Clayton, 22, lost their lives. EA, the developers of Madden NFL 19, have donated 1 million dollars to the families of the victims.


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