Lawsuits Being Filed About Security At Jacksonville Madden Tournament Shooting
On Sunday August 26, 2018, a highly competitive Madden Football gaming competition was being held at the Jacksonville Landing Complex in Florida. The streaming website Twitch was hosting a live video feed of the event. A little past 1 pm, horror struck the hearts of remote spectators as several gunshots rang out.
Here’s what is public knowledge as of August 30. We know that 24-year-old David Katz was the shooter. He was from Baltimore, Maryland but was in Jacksonville for the Madden tournament. We know that two people were killed (Taylor Robertson White, 28, and Elijah Clayton, 22), nine others sustained gunshot wounds, and two others were injured in the chaos of evacuation. We also know that Katz had a history of mental and emotional struggle, and he took his life with his own firearm just after opening fire on the crowd at the Landing. No motive has been definitively been determined by police just yet.
So what does this awful tragedy have to do with security? Mass shootings are becoming more commonplace. The FBI released a report in 2013 where they studied all active shooter incidents since the year 2000. Between 2000 and 2007, there was an average of 6.4 active shooter incidents per year. That number jumped to 16.7 incidents per year between 2008 and 2013. Regardless of personal opinions on mental health and gun control, people are scared and angry at the frequency and seemingly random circumstances of these terrible tragedies. They want answers. One of those answers may be heightened security.
In the newest development in the Jacksonville story, a group of survivors from the shooting are filing a lawsuit with attorney Matt Morgan against the event venue, citing negligent security services. Not many details have come out yet about this developing lawsuit, but it’s heartbreaking that these survivors, witnesses, and family members felt that themselves and their loved ones were not adequately protected.
The debate about the merit of security officers from high end security companies being able to stop all school or event shootings sadly goes on, but the reality is that security guard services never hurt. High end security companies know the protocol for red flags and emergencies even before law enforcement can be on the scene. And just seeing that uniformed guard can give anxious folks peace of mind that people are putting in the effort to secure their safety.