Jacksonville Madden Shooting: Competing Gamer Speaks out After Being Shot in Thumb

Drini Gjoka, a competitive gamer at the Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, where at least four people were shot and killed Sunday afternoon, said a bullet hit his thumb during the shooting.

The tournament was taking place at the GLHFV game room inside the Chicago Pizza restaurant at the Jacksonville Landing, a shopping center in downtown Jacksonville. The event was being livestreamed on Twitch, meaning gunshots could be heard while gamers competed.

"The tourney just got shot up. Im leaving and never coming back," Gjoka, 19, tweeted. "I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb."

Gjoka later called it the "worst day of my life" and said he will "never take anything for granted ever again. Life can be cut short in a second."

"If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now. I LOVE ALL YOU GUYS," Gjorka wrote in his latest tweet.

Gjoka is a player for CompLexity Gaming. The company's founder and CEO Jason Lake issued a statement, confirming that Gjoka was injured and is now safe.

"We're obviously shocked and saddened by this afternoon's events," Lake said in a statement. "Our player, Drini, was hit in the thumb but is going to be fine. He managed to escape and run down the street to a nearby gym. He's currently cooperating with the authorities and we will be flying him out of Jacksonville as soon as we are given the green light from the officials on the ground."

At least four people were killed in the shooting and at least nine injured, according to local reports. The lone suspect was found dead at the scene, police said. His identity has not been released, although one gamer told the Los Angeles Times the shooter was a competitor at the tournament.

The wounded victims were taken to two area hospitals. According to WJXT, six victims were taken to UF Health Jacksonville.

Five are in stable condition and one is in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the chest. Three victims were shot once, and three were shot more than once. Police are at the hospital to interview the victims.

"We are aware of a video that's out on social media. We have that video," Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a brief press conference. "We would encourage people that have any other videos or information, please reach out to us at 855-845-TIPS."


This is a breaking story and will continue to be updated.

Photo credit: Twitter/CNN