EA Donates $1 Million to Jacksonville Shooting Victims

EA Games donated $1 million to the victims of the Jacksonville, Florida shooting on Sunday, which happened during a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament.

The company, which makes the Madden games, launched a "Jacksonville Tribute" fundraiser with a $1 million donation and asked others to join them. The contributions will go to the families of the deceased — Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton — and others who were injured.

"The events last weekend in Jacksonville will impact the gaming community forever. We can't begin to understand the pain so many are going through, nor do we pretend to have all the answers that will help us through the healing process," EA Games said in a statement. "But as is so often the case, our community inspires us. The way you are coming together, and the outpouring of support for all those affected by this tragedy, is incredibly uplifting. We want to join you. So today, we're establishing the Jacksonville Tribute."

EA also announced a special Jacksonville Tribute Livestream gaming event for Thursday, Sept. 6.

"We've heard from so many of you that you would like to support the victims, and to show that this horrific event will not define us, but only serve to make our community stronger. We're already working with many of you to help make this happen through the livestream," the company said.

More details on the event will be released soon.

On Sunday afternoon, suspected gunman David Katz, 24, opened fire during a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament at the Jacksonville Landing, a shopping center in downtown Jacksonville. Clayton, 22, and Robertson, 28, were killed and 10 others were injured. Katz was found dead after turning the gun on himself.

On Tuesday, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said the rest of the Madden NFL 19 tournament has been cancelled.

"We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators," Wilson said in a statement. "We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events."

On Tuesday, Morgan & Morgan attorneys told News4Jax that they plan to file a lawsuit accusing the Landing of having inadequate security. The firm did not say who the defendants are in the suit. The attorneys said multiple victims contacted them, and believed the shooting was preventable. They cited a previous shooting incident at the Landing in January 2017 as evidence that more should be done to keep the area sage.

"Business as usual on the security front will no longer be tolerated by Americans," attorney Matt Morgan said. "We must demand more from business owners. It's time for business owners and event organizers to step up their game."

Jordan Williams, who works at the Landing's Hooters, said there was no security at the venue for Sunday's event.

"It didn't make sense at all because, knowing there were so many people there trying to make money, there has to be hostility," Williams said. "And, that's exactly what happened."


Sleiman Enterprises, which manages the Landing, did not comment on the suit.

Photo credit: EA Sports