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Police: Gunman among 3 killed at Jacksonville video game tournament

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By Daniel Uria, UPI

Three people, including the gunman, were killed in a mass shooting Sunday afternoon at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday afternoon.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams tentatively identified the suspect as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, Md., and said the FBI was assisting in an investigation. Williams said the suspect used "at least one handgun" in the shooting and took his own life.

Williams said the suspect was in Jacksonville for the tournament, but didn't discuss any details regarding his motive for the shooting.

Nine victims were transported to area hospitals, including seven who sustained gunshot injuries, while two others transported themselves to hospitals with gunshot injuries. Williams said all of the victims were 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 by gunfire.

"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."

CompLexity Gaming CEO and founder Jason Lake issued a statement to CNN about the 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.

NFL players, teams and stadiums are featured in the game and the league issued a statement saying it was "shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy" in Jacksonville.

"Our hearts go out to all those affected," the NFL wrote on Twitter. "We are grateful for the first responders immediately on the scene. We support our partners at EA Sports and will continue to monitor developments with local law enforcement."

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan also issued a statement, saying he was heartbroken by the news and offering condolences to the families affected.

"What I can say is I know today what lifelong Jacksonville residents have known forever -- we are resilient, compassionate and remarkably supportive of our neighbors and friends, particularly in the most trying occasions," he wrote. "This tragedy will ask the best of all of us, but I know we will respond."

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 Sheriff 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.

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, WJXT reported.

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