A livestream announcer for the Madden 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida describes the terrifying moments a gunman opened fire, killing two people and wounding several others.
The NOW's correspondent Kumasi Aaron sat down with Toshiba Sharon, who was at the venue GLHF Game Bar, when 24-year-old David Katz, armed with a handgun, fired multiple shots at gamers.
Sharon says after hearing the first shot, just several minutes into the game, he believed they were experiencing technical difficulties.
“Shortly after the second shot rang, that’s when I knew that, you know, it was a gun, and someone was shooting,” recalls Sharon. “So, my attention was drawn straight to the shooter and he was pointing inside the room. From where he came in, it was like a walkway and an entrance, so it’s pretty much just one entrance in and it was one entrance out.”
Sharon says he was sitting by a gamer, who he says was shot in the chest twice.
“I watched a boy get shot in his neck, get shot in his head, says Sharon, choking up as he speaks. “Blood right under him, stooped over, lifeless, and brains on the floor…
“I watched people run and terrified.”
Sharon says the shooting lasted for about 40 seconds. He said when it ended, he stayed in the room to talk to the victims, some he knew. Sharon says he and an off-duty firefighter went to the aid of a victim who was face down on the ground. He says that victim was one of the two men killed in the attack.
“I just want people to understand--the kids that were lost yesterday, the men that were lost yesterday--that the brotherhood that they were a part of, for their family members to understand, that they their son, brother or father didn’t die alone, that they died in the midst of family,” says Sharon. “They died, it was very tragic and unfortunate, but they died, you know, their last moments on earth, last moments alive, were doing something they loved.”
Sharon says the actions of one person should tear apart a community, but allow a community to come together and not become numb to mass shootings in the country.
Two people were killed in the attack. One of the victims, 27-year-old Taylor "spotmeplzzz" Robertson was identified by his gaming sponsor, Dot City Gaming. The other victim, 22-year-old Eli "trueboy" Clayton, a former high school football player, was identified by the Calabasas High School football team in California.
Nine other people suffered gunshot wounds, and two people were injured while fleeing.