Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Gunman Is Among 3 Dead In Mass Shooting At Jacksonville Landing

A gunman from Baltimore is among three people dead after a mass shooting Sunday afternoon at a video game tournament at the Jacksonville Landing, Sheriff Mike Williams announced.

Our News4Jax partner reports Williams said the man tentatively identified as 24-year-old David Katz was among three bodies police found when they responded to reports of gunfire at Chicago Pizza at 1:34 p.m. Nine others were transported area hospitals, seven with gunshot wounds. Two additional victims showed up at hospitals with gunshot wounds.

News4Jax sources Katz, a gamer from the Baltimore area armed with a semiautomatic handgun, killed himself.

Williams said SWAT teams completed a methodical search of the Landing and the immediate area by 4 p.m. and found no additional gunmen.

JSO urged people inside the riverfront mall to stay calm and no run out until the search was complete.

"We will get to you. Please don't come running out," said JSO via Twitter about 3 p.m.

Randy Wyse, president of the firefighters' union, said Engine Company 1 was training in the area and victims began running up to them before they received the emergency call. He said victims ran as far as the CSX building, about a half-mile away to get help.

The wounded victims have been taken to Memorial Hospital, where three victims were in stable condition, and UF Health Medical Center, where one person with serious injuries and five more in good condition.

Early reports say the shooting began during a Madden NFL 19 tournament at the Good Luck Have Fun video game room inside Chicago Pizza. About a dozen gunshots can be heard on the audio of a livestream of the tournament. A red dot that appears to be a laser pointer is visible on the chest of a player seconds before the first gunshots rings out.

"We are aware of a video that's out on social media. We have that video," Williams said. "We would encourage people that have any other videos or information, please reach out to us at 855-845-TIPS."

A group who appeared they were leaving the tournament refused to answer questions.

Jason Lake, the founder and CEO of compLexity, a company that owns professional e-sports teams, said on Twitter that one of his players, 19-year-old Drini Gjoka, was shot in the thumb.

Gjoka tweeted: "The tourney just got shot up. Im leavinng and never coming back." Then: "I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb. Worst day of my life."

The Sheriff's Office bomb squad robot andSWAT team members were seen going into a parking garage at Main and Bay streets, within a block of the Landing. News4Jax was told they were checking out a car -- likely that belonging to the gunman.

Police barricaded a three-block radius around the mall and urged everyone to stay out of the area the rest of the day. Officers and Coast Guard boats patrolled the St. Johns River. Police also took up positions on a bridge overlooking the river.

Late Sunday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he has just spoken with President Donald Trump, who offered federal resources if needed. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had been briefed and the White House was monitoring the situation.

Scott's office was traveling to Jacksonville to be briefed on the shooting.

A woman, who said her son inside the game, said he was in the room when a man pulled a gun and started shooting.

"It's scary that you could be having a good time and someone just starts shooting," she said.

The councilman who represents the district in which the shooting happened said he came to the scene as soon as he heard the terrible news.

"Jacksonville cannot run away from this problem. It’s time for Jacksonville to take up the gun violence issue,” said Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney. “We have to pray hard. We have to come together to come up with a real solution.”

Gaffney said he’s frustrated and has been talking with the mayor and sheriff about Friday night’s shooting outside Raines High School that left a 19-year-old dead.

“My solution is we really need to talk about God. I’m asking the faith-based community to step up, Gaffney said.

This statement came from The Jacksonville Landing: “We are deeply saddened at the incident and pray for everyone involved. The Jacksonville Landing is fully cooperating with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and all ongoing investigations.”