Shooting Reported at Madden 19 Tournament in Jacksonville, FL (Updated)
Update — 8/27/18 @ 9:30 a.m.:
Although authorities have not officially released the names of the two individuals killed in yesterday's Madden tournament shooting, at least one national news outlet is reporting that family and friends have identified the two victims on social media as 27-year-old Taylor "spotmeplzzz" Robertson and 22-year-old Eli "trueboy" Clayton.
Robertson had won 2017's Madden Classic and was sponsored by Dot City Gaming. He was a husband and a father. Dot City Gaming released a statement, saying:
(1/2) 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.— Dot City Gaming (@DotCityGaming) August 27, 2018
(2/2) 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.— Dot City Gaming (@DotCityGaming) August 27, 2018
Although Clayton was a relative new-comer to the professional Madden scene, he had already left a lasting mark on the community he loved. Shay "Young Kiv" Kivlen tweeted late yesterday that Clayton was "one of my best friends" and one of the most "genuine people I've ever met".
RIP @True__818 Elijah Clayton. One of my best friends in life. I talked to u almost everyday for the last 5 years. U were one of the most kind and genuine people I’ve ever met. I love u like a brother. I’m gonna miss hearing you laugh everyday and seeing your genuine smile. pic.twitter.com/Balk88T1ES— Kiv (@young_kiv) August 26, 2018
Both players were widely respected in the Madden community. Thousands have taken to social media to voice their support for the players, friends, and family affected by the shooting.
Update — 8/26/18 @ 8:28 p.m.:
According to CNN, police have identified the gunman as a 24-year-old male. As an editorial decision, we have declined to share the shooter's name, although it is widely available via other outlets.
He was known in the Madden community as "Bread" and more recently as "RavensChamp". He was from Baltimore, MD.
Many on Twitter pointed out that the suspect had been affiliated with the Madden tips site The GamerSlab in the past, in which the suspect had allegedly published tweets talking about taking his own life and killing people.
The GamerSlab issued a statement on Twitter saying: "Fyi this was not HIS [sic] account. I think he may have posted some youtube [sic] videos on the madden [sic] tips channel years ago. Thoughts and prayers to the victims and the famlies[sic]/friends." Although the tweets were available on The GamerSlab Twitter earlier Sunday, they appear to have been removed as of Sunday night.
Witnesses told local Jacksonville authorities and news outlets that the shooter was angry that he had lost in the tournament. However, authorities did not cite a specific motive for the shooting.
The shooter took his own life after killing two others and wound another nine. Police have yet to release the names of the other two individuals killed in the shooting.
Update — 8/26/18 @ 7:54 p.m.:
Sheriff Mike Williams spoke to the press and said that three people have been killed and another nine injured.
Update -- 8/26/18 @ 6:33 p.m.:
Several players from the Madden 19 qualifier have marked themselves safe via Twitter. Shay "Young Kiv" Kivlen, Chris "Dubby" McFarland, and Tony "Vtech" Montagnino have all said they are OK, if shaken.
On Twitter, Kivlen said, "I’m alright. Please keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers. I’m so shaken right now. I love y’all."
In a separate tweet, McFarland said "a bullet grazed my head," and that he had been taken to the hospital. He said "I feel fine, just a scratch on my head."
In another tweet, Montagnino said "I’m good... got hit twice. Lower body. One went through. The other was lodged."
Update -- 8/26/18 @ 5:47 p.m.:
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Department has tweeted that the current numbers of four dead and 11 inured are "inaccurate". The tweet from the official sheriff's department account states that JSO will release the official numbers as soon as they are confirmed.
Update -- 8/26/18 @ 4:38 p.m.:
Jacksonville police, via Sheriff Mike Williams, has said "there are no outstanding suspects at this time". There is a lone suspect, a white male, who is dead. The suspect has not yet been identified.
The shooting allegedly occurred in or near the Chicago Pizza restaurant at the Jacksonville Landing. According to preliminary reports, it appears the shooting may have also happened outside of that restaurant as well.
Police are urging anyone with information regarding the shooting to contact Crime Stoppers or the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 404-630-0500 or 866-845-TIPS. Tips can also be emailed to JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.
If you are in the Jacksonville area, the local police department asks that you do not visit the area at this time. Authorities have said the crime scene is "large".
Update -- 8/26/18 @ 4:21 p.m.:
Information just released by the Los Angeles Times, alongside esports reporter Rod Breslau, (via Polygon) is reporting that the suspect in the shooting was a player at the tournament.
There will be a press conference from local authorities at 4:30 p.m. EDT.
Update -- 8/26/18 @ 3:52 p.m.:
The Los Angeles Times is reporting a source has told them "the shooter shot at least five people, killing two or three, before taking his own life."
CNN has also reported a witness, Ryen Aleman, "said the shooter may have had a laser to assist his aim on the gun."
According to multiple news outlets and local authorities, a gunman opened fire at the Southeastern Qualifier for the Madden 19 Championship Series in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday afternoon. Jacksonville police have said on their official Twitter account that "one suspect is dead". Preliminary reports say that four individuals have been killed, seven have been wounded.
The shooting occurred earlier this afternoon at the GLHF Game Bar at the Jacksonville Landing, located along the St. Johns River. GLHF Game Bar is just 1.3 miles from TIAA Bank Field.
The tournament was being livestreamed on Twitch when the shooting occurred. Out of respect for those involved and their families, we are neither sharing audio nor video of the stream.
According to IGN, Drini Gjoka, a player from Complexity Gaming, tweeted at 1:41 p.m. EDT that he had been shot in the thumb, but was safe.
I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb— Drini Gjoka (@YoungDrini) August 26, 2018
Per CNN, EA is aware of the situation and has released the following preliminary statement via the company's official Twitter account: "This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved."
As of this writing, three individuals are being treated for injuries at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville.
The Southeastern Qualifier was the first part of the Madden 19 Classic tournament, which is set to culminate in Madden Classic Live Finals in Las Vegas, NV in October.
The qualifying event began on Saturday, August 25 and was set to close on Sunday, August 26. The tournament was for two spots in the upcoming 2019 Madden Bowl.
This is a developing story...