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Before Shooting, Gunman Was Eliminated in Tournament

But police are not speculating about a motive in Florida killings
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2018 12:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – Police have identified the shooter at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday as 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore. What they don't know is what prompted Katz to open fire in the "Madden 19" qualifying tournament, fatally shooting two fellow competitors and wounding nine others before killing himself. But perhaps this is part of it: The Los Angeles Times and and Jacksonville.com both report that Katz had been knocked out of the tournament before his shooting spree. Related coverage:

  • Intense: One thing that has emerged about Katz is that he was seen as an intense competitor. The Baltimore Sun notes that an announcer introducing Katz at the Jacksonville tournament said this of him: “David Katz keeps to himself. He’s a man of business. … He’s not here to make friends.” Competitor Shane Kivlen tells the AP that "something was off about him."
  • Former champ: This video shows Katz, playing as "Bread," winning a 2017 tournament, along with a subsequent interview. The Washington Post writes that his "thin face is clenched in a serious look" during competition, and his "face is again drained of emotion" during the interview, "his eyes roaming the floor as he answers questions." The Buffalo Bills congratulated Katz after the 2017 win with this tweet.

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  • The victims: They've been identified as Taylor Robertson, 27, of West Virginia, and Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, Calif. People notes that just before the shooting began, a red laser dot appeared to show up on Clayton's chest, apparently from the shooter's gun. Both were competitive players in the "Madden NFL" gaming circuit. Robertson, for example, had $80,000 in career winnings, reports CNN.
  • The announcer: Toshiba Sharon was the tournament announcer, and he was lucky to escape alive. “The kid that was doing the interview with me, he shot him twice in the chest,” Sharon said, per Jacksonville.com. Sharon thinks the shooter deliberately went after his first victim, apparently Clayton, and then began firing randomly. “All I could see was his hand, his arm, the gun and an infrared beam coming out of the bottom of it,” Sharon said. “It looked like maybe a 9mm, and he definitely let off the whole clip.”
  • Big business: The shooting has focused attention on the booming business of e-sports, which Goldman Sachs valued at $500 million in 2016, reports USA Today. It's not just football: Epic Games is putting up $100 million to fund prizes in "Fortnite" competitions. Fans can typically watch the competitions on the online network Twitch.tv.
  • Student activists: They're planning to increase pressure on lawmakers yet again after the shooting, which comes about six months after the deadly rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The teens were specifically calling for protests outside the offices of senators who get NRA funding, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, per the Guardian.
(Read more mass shootings stories.)

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