A survivor of the Jacksonville, Florida, shooting recalled going into "survival mode" as chaos ensued inside a bar hosting a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament on Sunday afternoon.
Tony Montagnino, a father of two competing in the tournament, told ABC News he first thought firecrackers were going off inside the GLHF Game Bar and Chicago Pizza restaurant before he got hit.
"Then I actually got hit and, you know, I've never been shot before, so I didn't know what to think and then I turned around and actually ... saw the flashes from the gun and at that point [I] just went into survival mode and just wanted to make sure I was out of there," Montagnino said.
Montagnino said he could see the suspected shooter's hair but not his face.
"He was holding the gun up and the flashes were kind of covering his face because I mean he was just letting them rip," Montagnino said. "And then, again, once I saw the flashes, I didn't want to stick around to try to ID him. So I hit the floor and tried to find cover wherever I could."
In an interview with CBS News, Montagnino said he dropped to the floor when the shooting began, but could not stop thinking about trying to get his phone and contact his family.
"My phone is on the ledge, you know, probably about 10 feet in front of me. And all I can think about is getting my phone so I can text some of my family. Just let them know, you know, that I care about them, and that's the most helpless feeling in the world," Montagnino said.
The shooting happened at the Jacksonville Landing, a shopping and dining area in downtown Jacksonville on the St. John's River. Officials received the first 911 calls at 1:34 p.m. ET. The suspect was identified as 24-year-old David Katz, a gamer who lost in the tournament. Katz was later found dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Two competitors — Eli Clayton, 22, and Taylor Robertson, 27 — were killed. Ten others were wounded.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said in a Monday update that Katz targeted gamers and there were about 130 to 150 people in the bar, reports News4Jax. Katz was visiting Jacksonville from Baltimore, Maryland, and was carrying two handguns, a .45-caliber and 9 mm. He also had extra ammunition with him, Williams said.
Court filings from his parents' divorce show that Katz was hospitalized twice in psychiatric facilities as a teenager. He was also prescribed with anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications.
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