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The online gaming community is responding to the mass-shooting that occurred at a Madden 19 competition in Jacksonville, Florida, as reports identify the shooter involved in the attack and his targets.
The shooter was identified by police as a 24-year-old white male, believed to be from Baltimore.
According to accounts online, the two victims killed by the shooter were Los Angeles native Elijah Clayton, who went by the handle of True_818, and Taylor Robertson, a husband and father, who was known online as Spotmeplzz.
Trueboy was so young…SpotMe had a wife and kids.. We spent years as a community building relationships on kindness and competitiveness. I’m sick right now…
— Josh (@JoshTolliver) August 26, 2018
Robertson, of Ballard, West Virginia, had played 18 games as part of the Madden community.
RIP @True__818 Elijah Clayton. One of my best friends in life. I talked to u almost everyday for the last 5 years. U were one of the most kind and genuine people I’ve ever met. I love u like a brother. I’m gonna miss hearing you laugh everyday and seeing your genuine smile. pic.twitter.com/Balk88T1ES
— Kiv (@young_kiv) August 26, 2018
In a statement yesterday evening the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department clarified reports that there were three fatalities of the shooting — including the gunman. There were 11 reported casualties from the shooting who were taken or took themselves to local hospitals and all are so far reported to be in stable condition.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families who were all affected by this senseless act of violence here today,” said Chief Kurtis Wilson of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
The National Football League (NFL) also responded to the shooting with a statement offering its own condolences to the victims of the attack.
OFFICIAL NFL STATEMENT:
We are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy today in Jacksonville. Our hearts go out to all those affected. (1/2)
— NFL (@NFL) August 26, 2018
Indeed, the entire gaming community has spent much of the day online coming to terms with the violence that unfolded in Jacksonville.
To anyone ive ever blasted or talked smack to on stream I sincerely apologize. I was always talking to the gamertag in the corner of my screen and never the human being on the other end of the sticks. Things gunna be different going forward. I respect everyone out here doing this
— x D3liveranc3 x (@mpinter9) August 26, 2018
Other eSports platforms also offered their thoughts on the tragedy.
We are deeply saddened to hear about a shooting that occurred at a Madden 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida this afternoon and we wanted to extend our deepest condolences to the victims, their families, and all those affected by this tragedy. pic.twitter.com/GYWCjE3yzG
— lolesports (@lolesports) August 26, 2018
The shooting is at least the seventh mass shooting to occur in the U.S. this year, according to data from Mother Jones. And the second mass-shooting event in Florida in six months, following the attack at Parkland High School.
Today’s shooting in Jacksonville is at least the seventh mass shooting of 2018. We’ve been tracking all such attacks from 1982 to now. See our database here: https://t.co/JcRM1OCdiV
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) August 26, 2018
After update of the shooting, advocates have taken their advocacy positions. NRA pundits are calling for better security and the abolition of public gun free zones in the states where open carry has made such policies necessary. And gun control advocates are pointing out that the creation of more stringent gun laws would obviate the need for either tighter security or gun free zones.
Meanwhile, 11 people are recovering in hospitals from wounds inflicted by a 24-year-old who shot them and killed himself over his performance in a video game tournament. And two other people are dead for the same reason. They’re probably not listening to advocates right now.