JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One day after a Baltimore gunman opened fire at an online Madden 19 NFL tournament at a game room inside the Jacksonville Landing, killing two and sending nearly a dozen to hospitals with gunshot wounds and other injuries, Florida's two U.S. senators were in Jacksonville, meeting with Sheriff Mike Williams, the FBI, the ATF and some of the victims.
Sen. Bill Nelson said he doesn't understand why we continue to tolerate these mass shootings, and he and Sen Marco Rubio continue to push in Washington for comprehensive, uniform background checks.
"We've had too much of that in this state, Nelson said. "We don't have the votes now, but elections have consequences."
Williams said 24-year-old David Katz is believed to have opened fire with a handgun inside the Good Luck Have Fun Game Bar inside Chicago Pizza about 1:25 p.m. Sunday.
Williams said the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot, adding authorities were still making final confirmation of his identity with the FBI assisting them in Baltimore.
Eleven other people were wounded by gunfire and all were either in stable condition or released by midday Monday. He added that two others were hurt as people sought to flee the gunfire in the panic and chaos that ensued.
At least a dozen gunshots could be heard during a livestream of the games.A red dot that appears to be a laser pointer is visible on the chest of a player seconds before the shots rang out.
Katz was in Jacksonville for the southeastern regional qualifier in the Madden tournament. The game's maker, EA Sports, lists a David Katz as a 2017 championship winner.
Marquis Williams, 28, and his girlfriend, Taylor Poindexter, 26, both from Chicago, were ordering pizza at the bar when they heard the first shot.
Poindexter, an aspiring gamer, said she had hoped to gain some experience at the tournament. She said she never saw the face of the man who was shooting. But she recalled, "We did see him with two hands on a gun walking back just popping rounds."
He said the two ran to a nearby restaurant where workers were waving people in, hiding in a bathroom until police arrived.
On Sunday evening, an FBI official in Baltimore confirmed that its agents were searching the family home of the man authorities said they believe was behind the attack. An FBI spokesman, Dave Fitz, said agents had gone to the house of the man's father in Baltimore. He declined to release specifics, citing the ongoing investigation.
In Washington, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the attack and the White House was monitoring the situation.
Terrible weekend for #Jacksonville #Florida. Gang violence at high school game on Friday, then violence at ESport event on Sunday. I have no problem focusing on WHAT was used to commit violence. But we should also start focusing more on WHY people commit violence.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 27, 2018
The Sheriff's Office used Twitter and Facebook immediately after the shooting to warn people to stay far away and to ask anyone who was hiding to call 911. Police also barricaded a three-block radius around the mall and police boats patrolled the nearby river. Police also took up positions on a bridge overlooking the river.