Survivor stories: Jacksonville Landing victims discuss shooting, recovery
10 people hospitalized after mass shooting that killed 2 expected to recover
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ten people hospitalized after a gunman opened fire Sunday at a video game tournament inside a Jacksonville Landing restaurant are all expected to recover. A few have already been released.
Four of those injured were taken to Memorial Hospital and six were treated at UF Health Jacksonville. Some of them and their family members spoke to News4Jax on Monday.
Dalton Kent, a high school history teacher and basketball coach at Treasure Coast High in Port St. Lucie, said he heard 15 to 20 shots. He credits the active shooter training he received at this school with saving his life.
"When it happened, I dove under the table," Kent said. "I am pretty sure a bullet ricocheted and hit me in the shin, but adrenaline was running so high, so when we got out I almost didn't realize almost that I got shot until about a minute or two later when I was running out of the back of the bar."
Chris McFarland, 31, is another survivor who spoke Monday at Memorial Hospital.
McFarland, who had traveled from Philadelphia to play in the tournament, was grazed in the head by a bullet and spoke with me at Memorial Hospital.
"I looked up and remember seeing the shooter continually let go of rounds into the crowd at my friends," McFarland said. "It's something I will never forget, something I will have to live with for the rest my life."
One of men who died, Eli Clayton, was sitting in the exact same chair McFarland sat in 10 minutes prior to the shooting.
McFarland said he did not know the shooter before this tournament, but he thinks the shooting was planned.
"It's kind of like, 'This was my plan from the beginning and I'm finally going to execute my plan,'" McFarland said. "For a person to drive from Baltimore all the way down here, you'd think it was something that was premeditated, something he was going to do regardless that's kind of face he had."
Sujeil Lopez's 26-year-old son, Timothy Anselimo, is a professional gamer from the Tampa area. He was shot three times: in his hand, chest and lower side. Gov. Rick Scott and Mayor Lenny Curry visited his hospital room Sunday night.
"When his friend (who) was not shot went to the back door, my son was shot twice he fell. He had to jump over the fence and when he got up, that’s when he got shot a third time," Lopez said. "His friend picked him up and they literally jumped over a fence and then was at Hooters. Hooters opened the door and held him in there until police arrived."
Anselimo had surgery on his hand Monday and hopes to regain mobility if there isn't permanent nerve damage.
"If the surgery doesn’t turn out well and his hand isn’t well and he can’t play, I believe that 2,000 people love my son enough to find something where he can do what he loves," Lopez said. "I'm going to have faith that he does come back good, and I’m going to have faith that if he doesn’t, this works out and he gets a crazy opportunity."
Tony Montagnino, a father of two, was shot in the lower back and leg.
"I can never see his face because all I can see was the flash from the muzzle of the gun," he told CBS News.
Montagnino said after being shot, all he could think about was getting to his phone so he could text his family and tell them he cares about them.
Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.