(JTA) — A video gamer from Baltimore opened fire during a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament at a pizza restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 26, killing two and then fatally shooting himself.
The gunman was identified as David Bennett Katz, 24, who grew up in Columbia and lived in his father’s condominium near the Inner Harbor. The Forward reported that Katz is Jewish.
The Baltimore Sun reported on Aug. 27 that Katz, the youngest of two sons, was a 2011 graduate of Hammond High School in Columbia. He also reportedly attended Camp Airy in Thurmont, Md.
The son of Richard and Elizabeth Katz, David Katz had reportedly suffered from psychological and emotional issues since his parents’ divorce when he was 12.
According to CNN, Katz’s parents are fully cooperating with investigators and told authorities that their son had mental health issues. NASA reported that Richard Katz, an electrical engineer, works in the agency’s Instrument Electronics Development Branch, which is part of its engineering directorate.
According to court documents, Elizabeth Katz is a Ph.D. toxicologist who worked for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and now works for the Department of Agriculture.
Before the divorce, the Katz family reportedly lived in the King’s Contrivance section of Columbia, on a street where homes are valued at $500,000.
According to court filings, David Katz attended the Howard Community College and the Glenelg Country School. Three years after graduating from Hammond High School, Katz took classes at the University of Maryland, majoring in environmental science and technology, but did not graduate.
University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh tweeted that he had “been informed that the alleged gunman in yesterday’s tragedy in Jacksonville attended UMD previously but was not enrolled this semester.” He also tweeted the following statement:
I have been informed that the alleged gunman in yesterday’s tragedy in Jacksonville attended UMD previously but was not enrolled this semester. Our community grieves for the friends & families of the victims. My statement: pic.twitter.com/xcn5hE3KTp
— Wallace D. Loh (@presidentloh) August 27, 2018
Nine other people were wounded in the shooting at the Madden NFL 19 eSports video game tournament, that was held in a gaming bar that shares space with a pizzeria at the Jacksonville Landing, a collection of restaurants and shops along the St. Johns River. The bar was livestreaming the competition when the gunfire started.
It is the third major mass shooting in Florida in the last two years.
Katz was competing in the eSports tournament and used “at least one handgun” to carry out the shooting, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told reporters. The tournament was a regional qualifier for finals in Las Vegas with a $25,000 prize.
On the evening of Aug. 26, FBI agents searched the home of Katz’s father in an upscale townhouse complex near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
Katz competed in several video game tournaments under the monikers Bread or MrSlicedBread, and reportedly won a similar tournament in 2017.