EA Sports has been attempting to grow its eSports branding with events like Madden NFL tournaments for home consoles, growing the grassroots passion into a big league endeavor. However, tragedy struck at one of the recent Madden NFL 19 tournaments that was taking place in Jacksonville, Florida when a gunman opened fire.
According to a near minute-by-minute update from CNN, on August 26th, 2018 a deadly shooting occurred in Jacksonville, Florida. This was first reported by Complexity Gaming on social media, which is one of the teams attending the event that was taking place at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida, where the tournament for Madden NFL 19 was being held. The shooting claimed the lives of four and wounded 11 others.
The suspect did not survive the shooting, according to the Jacksonville police department, who managed to secure the situation after responding to the shooting incident.
The Jacksonville Mayor, Lenny Curry, was quick to respond to the situation, shortly after the shooting reports surfaced.
Various witnesses stated that some of the wounded managed to escape from the scene of the shooting and request for medical assistance at a nearby restaurant, where patrons had begun to take cover after hearing the gunshots ring out.
Even after incapacitating the gunman, SWAT arrived on the scene to do a thorough search of the Jacksonville Landing and told those in hiding to stay in hiding while they canvassed the area to make sure that everything was okay. Originally the police noted that they were unsure if there was a second gunman after taking down the first gunman, which is why SWAT began to search the area as a precautionary measure. However, an hour later the police confirmed that there was only one suspect, and so far have not offered many details on the reason behind the shooting or the motivations.
The news quickly reached Florida state Governor, Rick Scott, who also kept in contact with the Jacksonville police department, noting that they were still receiving updates regarding the Madden tournament shooting.
CompLexity Gaming founder and CEO, Jason Lake, told the media that those who were wounded at the Madden NFL 19 tournament were working with police and that as soon as they were cleared they would be flying out of Jacksonville for medical treatment.
Shortly after the authorities managed to get a handle on the situation, Electronic Arts, the makers of Madden NFL 19, issued a statement via Twitter, sending their deepest sympathies to the victims of the shooting and those affected by the terrible tragedy.
Many of the witnesses on the scene reported that there were "just so many gunshots" and stated that they heard a "barrage of gunfire." Many in attendance of the tournament sought shelter in the restrooms until the police gave the all-clear.
According to CNN, President Donald Trump was also briefed about the shooting and that the White House was monitoring the situation.