SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — The shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida that shocked the nation Sunday hit particularly close to home for some in Southern California’s esports community.
Police are still trying to find a motive in Sunday’s shooting at the Jacksonville Landing shopping complex, in which suspected gunman and professional gamer David Katz shot and killed two people during a “Madden ’19” tourney. Police said Katz died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
At Esports Arena in Santa Ana, some gaming participants were worried about what the shooting could portend for local players. The venue is slated to host a qualifying event for a “Madden ’19” tournament next month, the same game being when the massacre happened.
Representatives with Esports arena did not speak to CBS2 News, but one father said he was rethinking his 12-year-old son’s participation there.
“Well, you wouldn’t think that gamers would attract this kind of attention,” said Jose Marquez. “This is one of the places where you would think, ‘I could drop him off with a group of friends, and it’s gonna be OK.’ Now it’s like, ‘Well, is it really gonna be OK?'”
Gamer Jay Montoya was a bit more sanguine, if cautious, about the situation.
“Just be [conscious] of your surroundings, always pay attention to who’s around you at all times,” said Montoya. “Don’t be afraid to look around to see what’s going on.”
Esports tweeted its condolences to the victims of Sunday’s massacre.
Katz, 24, is from Baltimore and was reported to have participated in the tournament Saturday. It is not yet clear if Katz knew his victims. Nine people were also wounded in the incident.