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Gamers Baffled By Florida Mall Shooting

The suspect in a deadly shooting at a Florida video game tournament was known to barely speak to fellow gamers and sometimes showed an erratic playing style, according to other competitors.

David Katz, 24, of Baltimore killed two people and wounded nine others before fatally shooting himself on Sunday at a Madden NFL video game tournament being held at a riverfront mall in Jacksonville, authorities say.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says Katz used at least one handgun in the attack.

Seattle gamer Shay Kivlen, 21, was competing at the tournament and said the shooting didn't make sense.

"In Madden, you never get so mad at a loss that you would want to do that," he said.

The Jacksonville tournament had $US5,000 ($A6800) in prize money to divide among the top finalists.

Kivlen said some gamers rely on that money to make ends meet.

But he and other competitors insisted most players take losses in stride and, even with cash on the line, still view it as being just a game.

"No one deserves to die over playing a video game, you know?" said Derek Jones, 30.

"We're just out here trying to win some money for our families and stuff."

The game's maker, EA Sports, lists a David Katz as a 2017 championship winner.

Kivlen said that even when Katz showed up at in-person competitions, he never seemed to socialise and would brush off attempts at conversation.

"We've always known he was a little off and stuff just because he wasn't social at all," Kivlen said, adding that Katz's odd behavior extended to his game play.

"He would do kind of weird stuff online that other people wouldn't do.

"He would catch a ball and just start jumping out of bounds and stuff when he could have gotten more yards, just hurting himself. I don't know what he was doing."

Kivlen, who said he had once beaten Katz for a coveted spot in a tournament, heard secondhand from a friend that Katz had been asking where Kivlen had gone shortly before the shooting.

After losing his game on Sunday, Kivlen said he left to take a nap at his hotel about 20 minutes before the attack. He was watching a live stream of the tournament online when the gunfire erupted.

A friend hiding in a bathroom at the venue answered his phone. When he said Kivlen may have been a target, Kivlen called police and an officer was sent to his hotel room for about 90 minutes until they received word that the gunman was dead.

Nine other people wounded by the gunfire were all in a stable condition on Sunday after being taken to hospitals. Two others were injured in the rush to flee the gunfire, Williams said.

Investigators were looking into an online video that appeared to capture the scene right before the shooting began.

A red dot that appears to be a laser pointer is visible on the chest of a player seconds before the first of about a dozen gunshots rings out.

AAP

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