Jacksonville Shooting: Two Dead, Ten Injured

On August 26th, a video appeared in news headlines of two young men playing Madden at a competitive gaming tournament. Just a minute into the video, gunshots begin ringing out, and the stream of the game itself stops, though the sound continues. One of the players, Eli “Trueboy” Clayton, dies shortly after. Screams can be heard accompanying the blank screen, one man crying out “Oh [expletive], what’d he shoot me with?” Scenes such as those recorded during this live stream have become much more commonplace as of late, especially in Florida, where this was the fourth mass shooting in recent years.

The shooter, David Katz, killed two and injured ten with a handgun before turning the gun on himself. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, he had won a Madden tournament back in 2017 and was in Florida to compete once again. He was quoted to say that he was “one of the better players.” Fellow gamers said he was angry after losing a match earlier in the day, which could have been a possible motive for the massacre.

Katz was still able to legally obtain two handguns despite being diagnosed with various mental illnesses and seen by several psychiatrists, in addition to having taken anti-psychotic medication.

The victims of the shooting were Taylor “SpotMePlzzz” Robertson, who had won the 2017 tournament, and Clayton, a former high school football player who had already garnered $51,000 in winnings.

Cameron Kasky, one of the Parkland students who spearheaded the March for Our Lives, is joining forces with Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen, a fellow gamer, to do a streaming fundraiser on Twitch. Proceeds will go to the victims and families of the Jacksonville shooting. Madden game developer EA has already donated $1 million to the campaign.

While situations like those in Jacksonville leads some to call for increased gun control, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, who is up for re-election this term, does not think that guns are the problem. He states, “They’re going to want to talk about the means of something instead of the reason it happened.” He thinks it is a societal problem related to a lack of faith, arguing that “prayer is important,” and asking “what can we do to get people involved in faith?” in order to prevent gun violence.

 

– Chloe Zelch ’20

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