(Video offered by CBC)
This Week’s Circulars
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Marquis Williams and Taylor Poindexter at first thought they heard a balloon popping. When the loud bangs saved coming, the Chicago couple and fellow video players attending a weekend match acknowledged them as gunfire and started scrambling for an exit.
As he fled, Williams, 28, stated, he may see the again of the gunman’s head because the attacker gave the impression to be strolling backward as he fired.
“We did not see like a face,” Poindexter, 26, informed reporters just a few hours after the assault, standing on crutches after spraining her ankle attempting to flee. “We did see him with two arms on a gun, strolling again simply popping rounds.”
The couple stated folks trampled others within the panic to flee. They ran to a close-by restaurant, the place staff had been waving folks inside, and hid in a toilet till police arrived.
The lethal violence surprised players competing Sunday in Jacksonville throughout a “Madden NFL 19” online game match. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams stated the gunman killed two folks and shot 9 others earlier than fatally taking pictures himself.
The competitors was held in a gaming bar that shares house with a pizzeria. Viewers may watch the video games on-line and see the gamers.
Williams stated authorities consider 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore carried out the assault utilizing a minimum of one handgun on the Jacksonville Touchdown, a group of eating places and outlets alongside the St. Johns River. He stated last affirmation of the suspect’s id was pending because the FBI in Baltimore aided within the investigation.
The sheriff stated Katz was attending the match in Florida. The “Madden” recreation’s maker, EA Sports activities, lists a David Katz as a 2017 championship winner.
Authorities didn’t give a motive for the shootings.
“Nobody deserves to die over taking part in a videogame, you understand?” stated “Madden” competitor Derek Jones, 30, of Santa Fe, New Mexico. “We’re simply out right here attempting to win some cash for our households and stuff.”
Jones stated he was sitting in a again patio outdoors the match venue when he heard the gunshots Sunday. He jumped a fence and ran, abandoning his backpack and cellphone.
“, I am glad I misplaced in the present day,” Jones stated. “As a result of if I might received, I’d have been in that recreation bar proper then taking part in a recreation and never paying consideration. And he may have come and I might most likely be useless proper now.”
Jones stated he knew Katz by the gamer tags he used on-line — usually “Bread” or “Sliced Bread” — and had performed towards him on-line however had by no means spoken to him personally.
9 different folks wounded by the gunfire had been all in secure situation Sunday night after being taken to hospitals, Williams stated. He added that two others had been injured within the rush to flee the gunfire.
Investigators had been wanting into a web based video that appeared to seize the scene proper earlier than the taking pictures started, Williams stated. A pink dot that seems to be a laser pointer is seen on the chest of a participant seconds earlier than the primary of a few dozen gunshots rings out.
Jason Lake, the founder and CEO of compLexity, an organization that owns skilled esports groups, stated on Twitter that certainly one of his gamers, 19-year-old Drini Gjoka, was shot within the thumb.
Gjoka tweeted: “The tourney simply received shot up. Im leavinng and by no means coming again.” Then: “I’m actually so fortunate. The bullet hit my thumb. Worst day of my life.”
On Sunday night, the FBI stated, its brokers searched a household dwelling of the person authorities believed was behind the assault.
Closely armed brokers, some in bulletproof vests and brandishing lengthy weapons, could possibly be seen getting into an upscale townhome complicated close to Baltimore’s Inside Harbor.
An FBI spokesman, Dave Fitz, confirmed that brokers had gone to the home of the person’s father in Baltimore. He declined to launch specifics, citing the continued investigation. T.J. Smith, chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Division, additionally stated that the company was helping regulation enforcement companions “with some data that has led authorities to Baltimore.”
In Washington, White Home spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated President Donald Trump had been briefed on the assault and the White Home was monitoring the state of affairs.
The Jacksonville Touchdown, within the coronary heart of the town’s downtown, additionally hosts live shows and different leisure. It was the positioning of a Trump rally in 2015, early in his marketing campaign for the White Home.
Marquis Williams stated the taking pictures rampage was one other tragic signal that elected officers ought to take motion to curb gun violence.
“Politicians, get up as a result of the folks you are presupposed to be representing are dying,” Williams stated. “Give up sitting in your butts. Give up amassing checks and do one thing.”
Farrington reported from Tallahassee, Florida. Related Press Author Tamara Lush contributed to this report from the Tampa space and Laura Heald from Jacksonville, Florida.