Gun violence in the US

Four reported dead in shooting at Jacksonville mall

The GLHF Game Bar at the Jacksonville Landing was hosting a Madden 19 video game tournament at the time of the shooting

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 August, 2018, 3:43am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 August, 2018, 10:20am

A shooter killed four people and wounded 10 others on Sunday at a video game tournament that was being streamed online from a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, local media said citing police sources.

The Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office is reporting that one suspect is dead at the scene after the shooting at Jacksonville Landing, but it was unknown if there were other suspects involved.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office used Twitter and Facebook to warn people to stay far away from the Jacksonville Landing.

The department says to “stay far away from the area. The area is not safe at this time. STAY AWAY.”

“We are finding many people hiding in locked areas at The Landing. 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,” the sheriff’s office said via Twitter.

The sheriff’s office did not provide any other information, but also warned news media to stay away from the area, which contains restaurants and shops along the St. Johns River.

The GLHF Game Bar at the Landing was hosting a Madden 19 video game tournament at the time of the shooting.

The shooter was a gamer who was competing in the tournament and lost, according to Steven “Steveyj” Javaruski, one of the competitors.

The shooter “targeted a few people” and shot at least five victims before killing himself, Javaruski told The Los Angeles Times in a direct message on Twitter. The gunman killed two or three people “that I saw,” Javaruski said.

In a public Twitter post, he said he was escorted out by police after the shooting.

“I am literally so lucky,” gamer Drini Gjoka said on Twitter. “The bullet hit my thumb.”

He added: “Worst day of my life.”

Authorities say they are unsure if there is a second shooter, and urged the public to stay away from the area.

The shooting was partially captured on a live-stream of the Madden NFL gaming tournament at the Jacksonville Landing.

The Landing, in the heart of the city’s downtown, hosts concerts and other entertainment, has a busy food court and a host of bars and restaurants. President Donald Trump held a rally there in October 2015 early in his campaign for the White House.

Gaming has become increasingly professionalised in recent years, with gamers taking on public personas similar to professional athletes, and such events are often followed on video and via social media.

Electronic Arts, the digital interactive entertainment company in charge of the tournament, said it is aware of the incident and is cooperating with law enforcement.

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