As authorities continue to investigate why a man decided to open fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., killing two people and injuring nearly 10 more before taking his own life, profiles of the victims begin to emerge.
A day after 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore opened fire inside Jacksonville Landing, the location of a “Madden NFL 19” video game tournament, the gaming community mourned the two players killed Sunday afternoon.
Police have yet to release the names of the victims but local media and the gaming community said they were Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, Calif., and Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, W.V. Both had been competitors in the tournament.
According to EA Sports, Robertson, who goes by SpotmePlzzz, had “the skill to completely take over any Madden tournament.” The gamer had earned over US$80,000 in prize money and had a 13-5 record.
“It’s been a while since he’s won an EA major, but his potent offensive talent paired with his skill on defense makes him one of the toughest opponents in competitive Madden,” reads his profile.
Robertson was also a member of Dot City Gaming, the team that sponsored his play at the Madden tournament.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless violence in Jacksonville and the tragic deaths of Dot City Gaming team member, Taylor (SpotMePlzzz) Robertson, and Eli (Trueboy) Clayton,” the team tweeted. “They were great competitors and well-loved members of the Madden community. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to their families, loved ones, and all of those affected by this tragedy.”
According to the Miami Herald, Robertson is survived by his wife and a young son.
According to EA Sports, Clayton was “consistently one of the best in competitive Madden.” Clayton had snagged over $50,000 in prize money and posted an 8-12 record. Clayton’s former high school football team confirmed the player’s death in a tribute on social media.
“Our hearts are broken as we learned that former Calabasas Football player @True__818 was senselessly murdered today during the mass shooting in Florida,” the team tweeted. “We send our love, condolences, and deepest sense of sorrow to Elijah’s family and friends.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office said nine people were wounded by gunfire and at least two others were injured while fleeing the scene. Some of the victims described the horror on social media following the rampage.
“They took me to the hospital. Bullet grazed my head,” gamer Dubby tweeted. “I feel fine, just a scratch on my head. Traumatized and devastated.”
“I’m good… got hit twice,” G-tech tweeted. “Lower body. One went through. The other was lodged.”
A member of the Milwaukee Bucks’ professional eSports team was also injured in the shooting.
“Devastated. No Words. Surgery in the morning,” Larry Legend tweeted. “Thanks to all who reached out.”
The shooting broke out during a regional qualifier for the Madden 19 online football game tournament and witnesses told local media Katz was angry because he lost the tournament.
It’s not clear if Katz knew his victims.
— With files from Reuters