David Bennett Katz, 24, purchased handguns two weeks prior to Sunday’s shooting
Police have revealed that the gunman who shot up a Madden NFL tournament purchased two handguns just a few weeks prior to Sunday’s massacre, and seemed to specifically target other gamers.
David Bennett Katz, 24, purchased a .45 caliber and a 9mm handgun about two weeks prior to killing two and taking his own life in the shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, an FBI official said on Monday.
The two handguns were purchased legally from a licensed dealer in Baltimore, where Katz lived with his father, FBI Special Agent in Charger Charles P. Spencer said at a press conference.
One of the guns was equipped with an after-market laser sight, investigators said. Although Katz brought both guns as well as extra ammo into the GLHF Game Bar where the shooting occurred, he only fired one of them in the attack.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said of the shooting that so far, there is ‘no indication it was planned prior to Sunday’ and that investigators have yet to determine a concrete motive.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams speaks to the media on Monday about the shooting at GLHF Game Bar where three people including the gunman were killed at the Jacksonville Landing
Williams said that Katz ignored patrons in an attached restaurant and specifically target gamers in the GLHF Game Bar (above in file photo) during the attack
Surveillance video from the gaming room and an attached restaurant, Chicago Pizza, showed that Kazt ‘walked past patrons who where in other parts of the business and focused his attention on the gamers’, said Williams.
‘The suspect clearly targeted other gamers who were in the back room of Chicago Pizza participating in this gaming tournament,’ said the sheriff.
Killed in the shooting were Taylor ‘SpotMePlzzz’ Robertson, 28, of West Virginia and Elijah ‘Trueboy’ Clayton, 22, of California.
Nine others were non-fatally shot, and two people were injured while fleeing the chaos.
Police wouldn’t comment on the any specific relationship between Katz and the victims, but indicated that the Madden tournament participants all ran in the same circles, and likely knew each other from prior competitions.
Witnesses at the scene have said that Katz was acting ‘weird’ and ‘nerdy’, and believe he was angry about being eliminated from the tournament, retrieved the guns from his car and then returned to commit the shooting.
Killed in the shooting were Taylor ‘SpotMePlzzz’ Robertson, 28, (left) of West Virginia and Elijah ‘Trueboy’ Clayton, 22, (right) of California
The FBI has conducted interviews in Baltimore with Katz’s mother and father, who are divorced, and Spencer said that both are ‘fully cooperative’ with the investigation.
Earlier on Monday, more details emerged about Katz’s troubled past, including that he struggled at college and had ‘significant’ medical needs which resulted him undergoing psychiatric treatment.
Katz’s father Richard Katz is a NASA engineer. He divorced David’s mother Elizabeth in 2007. The pair have one other son, Brandon, 28.
On Monday, staff from The University of Maryland revealed how David struggled to keep up after enrolling in classes in 2014, three years after graduating from Hammond High School.
Before he attended college, he went to Sheppard Pratt Health System in Towson for psychiatric treatment. His parents made reference to it in divorce papers where they described his two stints there and the fact that he had been prescribed anti-psychotic and antidepressant medications afterwards.
David Katz, 24,(left in his yearbook photograph) is believed to have been living alone with his NASA engineer father Richard (right). It has emerged he had ‘significant medical problems and needs’ as a child when his parents were divorcing
Neighbors said the Katz family moved into the house around seven years ago and described them as a ‘normal’ and ‘quiet’ family. ATF agents are seen raiding the home on Sunday
He studied environmental science and technology and kept to himself, barely speaking to the other students or staff, they said.
‘I knew the other students very well, but he did not open up the same way as the others did.
‘I pulled him aside and asked if there was anything I could do to help and he basically had no reaction to that,’ Natalie Gill, a former teachers’ assistant, told The Sun Sentinel.
She said that he thanked her at the end of the semester.
‘I thought, “maybe I did have a little relationship with him after all.”‘
Katz enrolled in 2014 but there is no record of him at the school this year nor is there any record of him graduating.
As part of their proceedings, a judge also ordered both parents to maintain health coverage for the boys who had ‘significant medical problems and needs.’
ATF agents leave the Katz family home in Baltimore on Sunday hours after the shooting
The Katz family home (left door) was raided by federal agents just hours after the shooting
Katz’s mother worked for the FDA at the time of the proceedings in 2014.
No one from his family has yet commented on the shooting.
Officers were seen swarming around the three-bed, $700,000 condo in Baltimore’s inner harbor on Sunday night within hours of the incident.
Agents at the home wore bullet-proof vests and carried rifles and shotguns as they went into the property.
Reporters who gathered outside did not see any authorities carrying any bags of evidence outside, Fox News said.
A neighbor, Jerry Knauer, described Katz’s father as a ‘really good guy’ adding in a video interview that ‘he’s been really nice to us’.
Baltimore City police and ATF agents went in and out of the home of Jacksonville shooter David Katz on Sunday night
ATF agents stand outside the Katz home in Baltimore hours after the Jacksonville shooting
Another neighbor told DailyMail.com that Katz had been about 17 when the family moved into the neighborhood about six years ago.
‘Nothing suspicious, they just seemed like a kind of quiet, normal family,’ the neighbor said.
The shooting broke out as the tournament was being live-streamed around the world and a game was in progress.
In footage of the tournament, one of the players is seen with a dot that appears to be a laser pointer dancing on his chest and neck.
As the live video shot cuts to the action on the virtual football field, gunshots and chilling screams can be heard in the background.
A red dot (circled) that appeared to be from a laser pointer was seen on Clayton’s chest in a livestream, shortly before the camera cut away, and gunshots and screams were heard
A Jacksonville Sheriff crime scene unit van is seen as law enforcement investigates a shooting at the GLHF Game Bar attached to the Chicago Pizza place (seen behind the van)
The commentators can be heard going silent as the first gunshots are fired and people begin screaming.
The stream then cuts off and a message appears saying ‘controller disconnected’.
Police arrived on the scene within two minutes of receiving the first 911 calls at 1.34pm, Sheriff Williams said.
Witnesses said people trampled each other while fleeing the gunfire.
Marquis Williams, 20, says he and his girlfriend, Taylor Poindexter, both from Chicago, were ordering pizza close by when shots erupted. He said Sunday that he didn’t think it was gunfire at first.
Says Williams: ‘Initially we thought it was a balloon popping, but there weren’t any balloons in the room. Then we heard repeat shots and we took off running.’