Two people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Madden 19 video game tournament along Jacksonville's scenic riverfront, police said Sunday.
Sheriff Mike Williams said the lone shooter was among the dead and had taken his own life. He identified the suspected gunman as David Katz, a 24-year-old white man from Baltimore, Maryland.
The two deceased victims have not been identified. Nine other people were wounded by gunfire and all were in stable condition Sunday evening after going to hospitals, Williams said. He added that two others were hurt as people sought to flee the gunfire in the panic and chaos that ensued.
Initial news media reports indicated there were four fatalities, but Williams corrected the number as three.
Police are not looking for any other suspects and a motive is not yet known.
The esports gaming tourney took place at Chicago Pizza in the Jacksonville Landing, said Williams, and his office received 911 calls at 1:34 p.m. ET reporting a shooting.
A live feed from the tournament was underway when the shooting took place, and the audio feed is interrupted by the sound of several gunshots.
Witnesses described a flurry of gunshots in a gaming room located in the back of the Chicago Pizza, followed by a stampede as people rushed to escape.
Braheem Johnson of Jacksonville was working at the Chicago Pizza restaurant next door to the Game Bar when the shots rang out. He caught a glimpse of the shooter, who he described as a young male of average build, firing into the crowd with a large-caliber handgun sporting a laser sight attachment.
"I just heard shots and I looked at the window and I see him," Johnson said. "Dude came in there, basically like, to kill, basically. He was just in his rampage mode."
Johnson barricaded himself and some customers in the restaurant and grabbed two knives, adding, "If you come into this kitchen, you're bound to get stabbed."
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump had been briefed and was monitoring the situation. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Trump called him and offered any federal help he needed.
Scott, who was preparing to fly to Jacksonville from his home in Naples, also spoke with Mayor Lenny Curry and other Jacksonville officials, according to Scott spokesman John Tupps.
"Today, this evening, tonight, Jacksonville is mourning. We have faced an occurrence that is all too common. It will require us to continue to do the hard work of public safety to make sure people are safe," Curry said. "One violent crime in our city is one too many. Tonight we pray for the wounded and we pray for the families of those we’ve lost.’’
He added, “Gov. Scott and scores of leaders from around the state have expressed their condolences and support. To all those and anyone watching I say this: Pray for Jacksonville as we deal with this senseless tragedy.’’
Jacksonville is about 300 miles north of Parkland, where a gunman killed 17 people in a rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., issued a statement after Sunday's shooting: "Word of another tragic mass shooting in our state brings shock and outrage."
Video game giant Electronic Arts issued a statement saying it was "aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville. We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage."
Complexity Gaming, a professional gaming team that had a player participating in the event at the GLHF Game Bar, said on Twitter participant Grini Gjoka was grazed in the hand but was "away from the scene and safe."
Gjoka tweeted that he was hit in the thumb when the tournament "got shot up."
"Worst day of my life," Gjoka said. "I will never take anything for granted ever again. Life can be cut short in a second."
The Jacksonville Landing is an entertainment complex along the St. Johns River. The area includes waterfront restaurants and an indoor shopping mall.
The GLHF Game Bar – GLHF stands for good luck, have fun – bills itself online as "Jacksonville's home for gamers and nerds alike."
The shooting took place less than two days after a gunfire at a high school football game a few miles away left one person dead and two wounded.
Contributing: TEGNA Staff