On Sunday, August 26, 2018, at approximately 1:30 pm, 24-year-old gamer David Katz pulled out a handgun and fired into the crowd at a competitive video game tournament in the GLHF Game Bar at Jacksonville Landing. Two victims died from their wounds and 11 were injured before Katz committed suicide.
But Jacksonville, which is committed to being a safe city, immediately saw its heroes at work. Seven members of Jacksonville Fire Station 1, who were doing routine training across the street, ran toward the scene without any protective gear; they administered first aid to victims and also flagged down police officers. Officers responded to 911 calls within two minutes. And the Salvation Army immediately sent out a disaster services team to feed first responders.
Members of the gaming community immediately took to social media to pay tribute to Eli "Trueboy" Clayton and Taylor "SpotMePlzzz" Roberston, who were regarded as being in the top tier of their fellow online gamers. Clayton and Taylor were in Jacksonville for a competitive Madden football tournament in which the winners would advance to a higher-level tournament in Las Vegas with large cash prizes.
Police have not yet released a motive for the shooting. All those still recovering are said to be in stable condition.
I've always been impressed by the friendliness, resilience and determination of Jacksonville and its people. This is a city that quickly links its arms together when it matters the most, and I've never seen it so courageous.
—Jennifer McKee, Where First Coast editor