EA cancels Madden Classic events following fatal shooting

Lynette PayneAug 29, 2018

UPDATE: EA Sports announced late Monday evening that it has canceled the three remaining qualifying rounds for its Madden Classic tournament to "review safety protocols". He said the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot, adding authorities were still making final confirmation of his identity with the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisting them in Baltimore.

The suspect, a Baltimore resident who was in Jacksonville, Florida, for the "Madden NFL 19" video game tournament, killed himself after attacking a room full of competitors.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams has declined to comment on the gunman's motive. A pro "Madden" player from Kettering, Ohio who once starred on ESPN's "Madden Nation", he used his body to protect younger players who were taking cover, according to Fox 45 Now.

A police officer walks past the GLHF Game Bar where three people including the gunman were killed at Jacksonville Landing on Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. Tragically, one competitor took failure to qualify personally and returned to the venue with a firearm before opening fire on the crowd.

"As you can imagine, we are devastated by yet another senseless act of gun violence", Clayton's cousin, Brandi Pettijohn, said while reading a statement. The victims were later identified by local media as 24-year-old Taylor Robertson, of Ballard, West Virginia, and 21-year-old Eli Clayton of Woodland Hills, California.

"@SirusTheVirusTV and @fitzmagic13 dad are heroes", said pro "Madden" player Jokeeee.

In a YouTube interview published by EA Sports, Robertson said he had played Madden NFL since he was 10 and started playing competitively a few years ago.

Under federal law, people are generally prohibited from acquiring guns if they have ever been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility.

"If you mention the name Taylor Robertson around here on a Friday night, there's not a soul that's not going to remember him and remember what a tremendous impact he had on our community", Evans said. He said she called the police to the family's home about 20 times and "gets drunk".

The two friends would chat daily online and see each other about six times a year at gaming tournaments.

"I saw this picture of him in a Titans jersey, and found out he was a fan", Henry said while showing the photo on his phone.

Williams said they did not include the shooter, who killed himself, in the number of victims.

"He was one of the kindest people, most genuine guys I've ever met", said Kivlen, 21. "I don't know what he was doing".

The Maryland State Police Licensing Division conducts extensive background checks, but those sources say there are potential loopholes.

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