Jacksonville Tragedy: Florida's 117th Shooting Since 2013

Tragedy struck Jacksonville, FL on Sunday, August 26 when David Katz, 24, opened fire on innocent people during an EA Sports Madden NFL 19 tournament. The tournament was being held at GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville Landing, a riverfront mall with various restaurants, bars and open performance space for gatherings.

Katz opened fire with a handgun at 1:34p.m., killing two people and injuring 10 before turning the gun on himself. The victims include Elijah “Trueboy” Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California and Taylor “SpotMePlzzzz” Robertson, 28, of Ballard, West Virginia.

A live-stream of the tournament caught the terrifying moment when it all began. In the video, Elijah is seen playing in the tournament and laughing with a friend. Then, in a chilling turn of events, a red laser crosses over his chest and the visual part of the video ends. Unfortunately, the audio continued. Gunshots, screaming, and utter chaos can still be heard. *Viewer Discretion Advised* 

David Katz, who went by the alias “bread,” was from Baltimore, Maryland and had won several Madden tournaments in 2017. According to Alexander Madunicin, one of the victims who had been shot in the foot by Katz, the shooter had lost several games earlier in the day and seemed visibly angry.

"He was kinda upset about that, so I'm guessing that had something else to do with it, too," Madunic explained. That is all speculation, however, as police are still investigating Katz’s true motive.

According to reports from the police, Katz had purchased two handguns in Baltimore over the past month, one having laser sight attached to it. He entered the tournament with both guns and extra ammunition, but police believe he only used one of them in the shooting.

In an anticlimactic and familiar response, Florida Gov. Rick Scott addressed the shooting; explaining that “we have got to change.” Well, you don’t say! “We’ve really got to stop and say to ourselves: There’s something wrong,” he told reporters. Of course there’s something wrong, Scott, as this shooting is Florida's 117th in the past 5 years.

Back in February when another mass shooting occurred at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, Scott signed a bill that:

  1. Raised the minimum age for gun purchase from 18 to 21.

  2. Created a three-day waiting period for for gun purchases.

  3. Banned the sale of bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire automatically.

  4. Enacted a “red flag” law that seeks to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a threat to themselves or others.

While this was a huge leap for gun reform, the law did nothing to restrict the purchase and availability of high-powered assault rifles, like AR-15s, which is what was the weapon used during the Parkland shooting. 17 lives were lost that day.