Madden tourney leads to tragedy

Photo courtesy of EA Sports | EA has canceled the remaining Madden NFL 19 tournaments. 

Three people were killed (including the shooter) and 10 were wounded in a shooting at a Madden 19 e-sports tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sunday. The shooting caused Electronic Arts to cancel the final three qualifier events for the tournament.

David Katz, 24, from Baltimore opened fire at GLHF Game Bar in downtown Jacksonville. Katz allegedly lost in the tournament earlier in the day. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Katz “clearly targeted” other members of the tournament, walking past patrons in other parts of the restaurant before opening fire in the back room. He then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

Police say the motive remains unclear and is still under investigation. Katz had purchased the two handguns legally in Baltimore within the past month. He carried extra ammunition for both weapons, but police believe that only one was fired.

Katz won other Madden tournaments, including the Madden 17 Bills Championship in February 2017. Announcers at the event described him earlier saying, “You are not going to see much emotion from our guy Bread (his username) David Katz keeps to himself. He’s a man of business. He’s not here for the experience. He’s not here to make friends.”

Court records state that Katz had suffered a difficult home life. Police records detail 26 calls to 911 between 1993 and 2009 for issues ranging from “mental illness” to domestic disputes. Katz had been treated as early as 12, being prescribed anti-depressants.

Both of Katz’s parents work for the federal government, with his father Richard as a NASA engineer and his mother as employee for the Food and Drug Administration. Both are cooperating with investigators. They went through a divorce in 2006 in which both parents filed to have a guard ad litem represent Katz.

By: Jack Dunn | U.S. & World News Editor