When shots were fired at Chicago Pizza’s GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida, patrons and staff at The Jacksonville Landing rushed to the scene to help wounded and terrified people get to safety.
Madden 19 player David Katz opened fire on a Madden Championship Series qualifying event on Aug. 26, killing two players—Eli “Trueboy” Clayton and Taylor “spotmeplzzz” Robertson—and injuring 10 others before shooting himself. The tournament was being livestreamed on Twitch as the shooting occurred.
In the days following the event, the gaming community has come together to honor the victims and the courageous patrons that helped those injured in the event. One of the injured players, Timothy “oLARRY” Anselmo, was shot three times by Katz—in the chest, hand, and hip. A 23-year-old Hooters employee, Jordan Williams, heard the shots and found Anselmo and many others fleeing the scene from a back door.
Williams rushed to Anselmo, using first-aid he’d learned from his mother, a registered nurse, according to a report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He pressed clothes onto Anselmo’s wounds to stop the bleeding.
“He was freaking out the whole time,” Williams told AJC. “He felt like he was bleeding out.”
Williams locked the fleeing Chicago Pizza patrons in Hooters and continued to help the wounded. He stayed with Anselmo until paramedics arrived. Anselmo called Williams his “newest brother” and hero in a tweet posted on Aug. 28. The two reunited at the hospital after the shooting.
Another competitor at the event, 30-year-old Ronald “SirusTheVirus” Casey, is being heralded for shielding younger gamers from the gunfire at the event. “The gun shots started taking off, just pop, pop, pop, and it just took everyone by surprise,” Casey told Fox45 Now. Casey said he used his body to shield younger Madden 19 players at the event, 18-year-old Joel “JoelCP” Crooms-Porter and 25-year-old Matt “BeastModeMac” Clark. Casey, who described himself as a 6’3″ man weighing 360 pounds, used his size to block the players.
“Love to [Casey] for covering me,” Crooms-Porter later wrote on Twitter. Crooms-Porter’s mother responded, too, thanking Casey for covering her child.
“I get to go home,” Casey told Fox45 Now. “There’s two guys that don’t get to go home.”
Among the others that rushed to the GLHF Game Bar on Aug. 26 are a group of firefighters from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. The firefighters were training just blocks from the event. The crew rushed into the event without their gear to assist the wounded patrons.
“We are trained to stage, wait for [the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office], and that just wasn’t happening in this situation,” JFRD captain Jeremy Cooke told First Coast News. “I believe one or two of the patients might not have made it—that we had trauma-alerted—if we had to wait and stage for JSO to clear the scene.”
“You don’t think about it, you just do what you can to help,” Cooke added.