READ: Gun rights, gun control activists jump on Jacksonville before smoke clears
READ: Jacksonville shooting: Reaction to video game tournament deadly gunfire
Jacksonville authorities identified David Katz, 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, as the shooter, who took his own life during the tournament, where competitors from around the country were playing “Madden.”
The elder Timothy Anselmo has been visiting with his son and other gamers who were at the event, including several from Georgia, while trying to piece together what happened. Florida Gov. Rick Scott also visited the 25-year-old a few hours after the shooting.
The victim’s father said the tournament, held in the GLHF Game Bar near a Hooters, was exciting for the players who have known each other only online for years. At such events, they can finally see their friends, “the face behind the microphone.”
Then horror erupted unexpectedly.
“They said this (shooter) played with them for a few years, and he didn’t associate with any of them. Somebody would ask him a question and he’d say, ‘None of your business,’” the victim’s father said.
The elder Timothy Anselmo said his son, Travis, was watching a live stream online of the game when he heard, “pop, pop, pop, pop,” then silence. He called his brother but got no answer several times.
The brother finally called back and said he’d been shot. He’d fled the room with others and ran into a Hooters cook who was outside having a smoke. The cook ushered the victim to safety and wrapped up one of his wounds.
The family was amazed he survived three shots.
"He was aiming for Timmy,” Maria Anselmo said almost incredulously in the parking lot. “Three times, he was aiming for Timmy.”
The gamer’s father wasn’t so sure the shooter wasn’t just aiming for whoever was in his path.
One bullet struck the 25-year-old’s chest and was still lodged inside his body late Sunday. Another hit his hip. Another hit a devastating spot for a professional gamer: one of his hands, badly damaging his middle finger.
“Now he may never be able to play again,” his dad said, “because the doctors say he might not be able to have feeling.”
He has surgery scheduled for Monday.
Woman trampled running from Jacksonville mass shooting