The competition was held in a gaming bar that shares space with a pizzeria. Katz, though, stayed away from that.
The gunman, identified by authorities as David Katz of Baltimore, Maryland, walked into GLHR Game Bar and opened fire, killing two people and injuring 11 others before turning the gun on himself. "He was just there to play". Eleven others were injured during the shooting, before the alleged gunman killed himself. Katz reportedly died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. They also are speaking with his parents, who the FBI said have been cooperating with the investigation.
The boy sometimes "curled up into a ball", refused to attend school and sobbed, Mrs Katz said.
In the case of the high school massacre, shooter Nikolas Cruz, 19, legally bought his AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon - also called a long gun - about one year before committing the crime. What may have motivated the Jacksonville attack remained unknown Monday, investigators said.
Sheriff Mike Williams said Katz was actively targeting other gamers.
An FBI spokesman, Dave Fitz, confirmed that agents had gone to the house of the Katz's father in Baltimore. The "Madden" game's maker, EA Sports, lists a David Katz as a 2017 championship victor.
Katz traveled to Jacksonville for the tournament. She said Clayton was a good, peaceful man who never had a fistfight.
"They were great competitors and well-loved members of the Madden community". Monthly viewership of esports events exceeds 160 million.
For successful players, significant money is at stake. The Jacksonville competition was a qualifier, offering a chance to move on to an event in Las Vegas that features a $25,000 prize. Robertson was 27; Clayton was 22.
Officials said all of the injured are expected to fully recover from their injuries. The tournament was being live-streamed on Twitch. Kivlen said he's heard plenty of rumors.
A friend hiding in a bathroom at the venue answered his phone.
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People can get intense, Kivlen said, and some trash talk is exchanged, "but it's just competitive banter", he said.
He added: "They might be rivals in the game, but everyone's a family".
The two Madden 19 competitors who were killed were Eli Clayton, who gamed under the name "Trueboy", and Taylor Robertson, who used the name "SpotMePlzzz", according to FOX 30.
Drini Gjoka, who was competing in the event, tweeted about the shooting in the immediate aftermath. "It's just tragic that somebody can lose their life playing a game that they love". "I don't know what he was doing".
"We have a total of 13 victims, of which 12 were shot", Williams said. On his verified Twitter profile, Anselimo said: "Devastated".
"He started in NY to stay out of trouble, and we let him", Lopez said. The bullet hit my thumb. "Please take time to support each other through this challenging time". As he fled, he fell forward and was trampled in the chaos. They are all in stable condition.
His mother is glad Anselimo is alive, but the family is anxious about what happens if he loses full use of his right hand - and with it, potentially, his competitive-gaming career. Katz's gameplay was often erratic, Kivlen said. She said Anselimo did not feel as though he was targeted, but he noted that Katz seemed removed from such a connected world. "Everybody there was having a great time, and he was off to the side".
EA Sports said it was aware of the shooting and is working with authorities to gather information.
A man accused of opening fire inside the Chicago restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday, had apparently won the a previous football video game tournament.
"The Madden community is filled with people who used to play sports".
"It just doesn't make sense why he would do it", gamer Shay Kivlen, 21, of Seattle, said Monday in an interview.