News

David Katz: 7 Things To Know About The Jacksonville Shooter

Authorities said a Baltimore man — David Katz — was the gunman in a mass shooting at a video game convention on Sunday in Florida. Police allege Katz killed three people, including himself, at the Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.

There were a total of 13 victims, according to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, who said the suspect was not considered a victim. There were 12 victims who were shot, two of them fatally, Williams reported.

At least five of the victims had been released by Monday morning, according to authorities.

Katz lived in Baltimore, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Federal agents converged at a condominium building near the Inner Harbor Sunday night to investigate a residence.

Katz, who was 24, was believed to have lived in the condo in the 1200 block of Harbor Island Walk with his father and his father’s girlfriend, WBAL reported. Other media reported his father Richard Katz lived alone, and his son visited occasionally.

Agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were in south Baltimore as part of the probe into the mass shooting until approximately 11 p.m., according to the ATF Baltimore.

Some ATF agents left around 9:30 p.m. with a box and a bag, The Washington Post reported. One couple who lives next door to Richard Katz told The Post that an FBI agent asked them whether they had ever received a package meant for Katz that contained ammunition.

Katz brought two handguns and extra ammunition with him to the gaming tournament in Florida, according to Sheriff Williams, who said the man recently purchased the guns in Maryland. The sheriff said while there were two weapons, the suspect only fired one of them.

Both of David Katz’s parents worked for the federal government. Richard Katz has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and works at NASA. The suspected shooter’s mother, Elizabeth Katz, has a PhD. in toxicology and works for the Food and Drug Administration, court records show.

The alleged gunman’s parents filed for divorce in 2007.

David Katz had “significant” medical problems. David Katz underwent hospitalization at Sheppard Pratt in Towson before his parents divorced, according to The Baltimore Sun. The hospital specializes in mental health treatment.

He also spent more than 90 days in a wilderness program for troubled teens in Utah and had stays in other treatment centers for mental health issues that ranged from dysthymia (persistent depression) to schizophrenia, WBAL reported. At one point, he reportedly experienced a schizophrenic break. At other times, he was violent with his mother, according to the news station.

David Katz has an older brother, Brandon Katz, 28. After their parents divorced, the Katz children were the subject of a case before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals about health insurance coverage. While the court filings did not detail what the specific medical issues were, records stated that both David and Brandon Katz had “significant medical problems and needs” resulting in “extraordinary medical expenses.”

He attended Maryland schools. The Katz children lived in Columbia until 2009. David Katz reportedly graduated from Hammond High School in 2011.

He began studying at the University of Maryland in September 2014, majoring in environmental science and technology, according to CNN.

Katz was not enrolled in classes this semester, University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh said.

He was a gamer known as “Bread.” The shooting took place at the Madden NFL 19 southeast qualifier tournament.

Madden NFL 19 is a video game that allows players to assemble their own NFL team, then compete against other gamers live while people watch on social media. Katz played under names such as “Bread” and “Ravenschamp,” according to Heavy.com.

The tournament on Sunday was held at GLHF game bar — which stands for “Good Luck Have Fun” — in the popular Jacksonville Landing entertainment complex, adjacent to Chicago Pizza. GLHF announced ahead of time that the venue was drawing “overwhelming attendance” from the tournament and was not open for other business during the event.

Katz won the Madden championship in 2017 and was a fierce competitor. When Katz won the 2017 Madden competition, it was in Buffalo, New York, at a tournament hosted by the Buffalo Bills.

In a post-game interview, Katz — who had been the seventh seed going into the 2017 tournament — said: “I don’t think of myself as a seven seed. I think personally I’m one of the better players. I like to let my game prove that.”

“He’s not here to make friends,” an announcer said of Katz in 2017. “He’s all business,” the announcer continued, adding: “It’s like pulling teeth” to get him to open up.

One gamer at this weekend’s qualifier tournament said he also found Katz not communicative.

“I beat him, went to shake his hand…and he just looked at me, didn’t say anything,” gamer Dennis Alston told Action News Jax, a Jacksonville media outlet. “He’s a well-known competitor,” he added of Katz.

Alston was one of two people to beat Katz at the tournament, and “we’re both still here,” he said.

Katz was wearing sunglasses during the tournament and had on the same clothes Sunday that he was wearing Saturday, according to the fellow gamer, who said he thought the shooting was premeditated.

There was speculation Katz was angry for not making it into the finals.

“He got mad, went into his car and just came back and shot everybody,” gamer Javari Long told ABC.

Officials have not released a motive. What led up to the shooting remains under investigation.

What is known is that at 1:34 p.m. on Sunday, the sheriff said there were 911 calls for reports of people shot inside Chicago Pizza. At 1:36 p.m., officers responded and businesses went on lockdown.

Katz died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said, and two others were also pronounced deceased.

Multiple media outlets identified the two slain gamers as Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California, and Taylor Robinson, 27, of Ballard, West Virginia. Clayton played under the name “Trueboy,” and Robinson played under the name “SpotMePlzzz.”

Authorities said they located and impounded Katz’s vehicle in Jacksonville, Florida, and are looking for information about what happened prior to the tournament.

“We believe he stayed somewhere locally [Saturday night], maybe a local hotel,” the sheriff said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@Jaxsheriff.org.

SEE ALSO:

Still picture of David Katz from ABC News/YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *