Police: ‘Multiple fatalities’ at Jacksonville video game tournament

The Jacksonville Landing is along the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, Ill., with restaurants and entertainment. Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Landing.

Aug. 26 (UPI) — Police reported “multiple fatalities,” including a suspect, at a mass shooting Sunday afternoon at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.. on Sunday afternoon.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office posted on Twitter: “Multiple fatalities at the scene, many transported.”

The agency said one suspect was dead, though it was “unknown at this time if we have a second suspect. Searches are being conducted.”

Jacksonville’s WJXT reported four people were killed and at least 11 were injured in the shooting.

Three victims were taken to Memorial Hospital in stable condition.

The shooting took place at GLHF Game Bar during a Madden 19 Tournament in a game room at Chicago Pizza, CNN reported.

“We are finding many people hiding in locked areas at The Landing,” the Sheriff’s Office posted. “We ask you to stay calm, stay where you are hiding. SWAT is doing a methodical search inside The Landing. We will get to you. Please don’t come running out.”

CompLexity Gaming posted on Twitter that one of its players, Drini Gjoka, was “grazed” in the hand.

“Complexity is not one of the event organizers in Jacksonville. We are a professional gaming team that had a player at the event. Thankfully, our player is fine and only suffered a small injury.”

ComoLexity Gaming CEO and founder Jason Lake issued a statement to CNN about his player’s injury.

“We’re obviously shocked and saddened by this afternoon’s events. Our player, Drini, was hit in the thumb but is going to be fine. He managed to escape and run down the street to a nearby gym. He’s currently cooperating with the authorities and we will be flying him out of Jacksonville as soon as we are given the green light from the officials on the ground,” Lake wrote.

Malik Brunson told CNN he was at a nearby Hooters when the shooting occurred.

“I was in Hooters, all I heard was he got a gun and the shooting started,” Brunson said. “One of the men ran into hooters with the shot wounds — they locked us in the restaurant.”

The event was a qualifying event for the Madden 19 Tournament live streamed on online platform Twitch. All games were being played on XBOX One consoles.

CNN shared a video clip from the livestream of the event in which gunshots and screams could be heard inside the venue.

Electronic Arts, which produces the Madden video game franchise, said it was aware of the shooting and is working with authorities to gather facts

“This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved,” the company wrote on Twitter.

The Sheriff’s Office initially posted at 2:13 p.m.: “Mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing. Stay far away from the area. The area is not safe at this time.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wrote on Twitter that he spoke to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office PIO Mike Williams to offer any state resources he may need and added the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is responding to the scene.

“I have spoken to FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen regarding the shooting in Jacksonville. We will continue to receive updates from law enforcement,” Scott said.

The City of Jacksonville said Mayor Lenny Curry was in contact with Williams and the mayor and Sheriff are expected to address media later today.

On Friday, one man was killed and two teens were injured during a Raines High School football game in the city, in what Curry described as an act of “senseless gang violence.”

Joerod Jamel Adams, 19, was found dead at the scene, while a 16-year-old Lee High School student and a 17-year-old boy who attends Raines High School were injured and expected to survive.


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