Owner of Jacksonville game bar 'shocked, saddened' by mass shooting

Owner thanks first responders for bravery, calls shooting 'isolated incident'

By Francine Frazier - Senior web producer
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Jacksonville Sheriff's officer walks past the GLHF Game Bar where three people, including the gunman, were killed during a video game tournament at The Jacksonville Landing on Aug. 26, 2018.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The owner of a Jacksonville restaurant and game bar that became the site of a mass shooting Sunday said in a statement released Wednesday that he is "shocked and saddened at the needless loss of life."

Cliff Comastro, who owns Chicago Pizza & Sports Grille and Good Luck Have Fun Game Bar, called the Jacksonville Landing shooting, which left three men -- including the gunman -- dead, an "isolated incident."

"As we grieve with those who were impacted by this tragic incident, we would like to thank the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and all local law enforcement and first responders who acted promptly to contain the situation," Comastro said. "Their heroic acts of bravery prevented this incident from further escalation."

Firefighters training across the street from the Landing immediately began treating the walking wounded as they streamed out of the riverfront mall amid survivors running for their lives.

Police said the chaos erupted when 24-year-old David Katz, a gamer from Baltimore, opened fire inside the game bar as fellow competitors were playing in a "Madden NFL 19" tournament.

A livestream of the Jacksonville qualifier captured gunfire, shouts and screams about 1:30 p.m.

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Taylor Robertson, 27, and Elijah Clayton, 22, were killed and 10 other people suffered gunshot wounds, according to Sheriff Mike Williams.

Williams said there were about 130-150 people in the restaurant and bar, and another person was injured in the chaos of the shooting.

Video showed Katz turn the gun on himself, Williams said.

Electronic Arts canceled its remaining qualifying events for the annual Madden tournament until safety protocols can be reviewed.

READ: Statement from owner of Jacksonville Landing game bar

Comastro said the Landing game bar was created as "a place where the gaming community could gather to share in one of the pursuits that elicits pure joy."

"Our hearts are broken, but together, we hope to begin the healing process as a community here in Jacksonville," he said.

The Landing reopened Tuesday morning, but the restaurant and game bar remained closed.

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