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Multiple Fatalities After Shooting At US Gaming Contest

Multiple people have died and "many" have been taken to hospitals in Florida after a mass shooting at a riverfront shopping centre that was hosting a video game tournament, local police say.

A competitor in the Jacksonville tournament told the Los Angeles Times the shooter was a player who lost and opened fire on others before killing himself.

The tournament was a livestream event for the new Madden NFL 19 game. It was taking place at the GLHF Game Bar at The Landing in Jacksonville.

Competitor, Steven "Steveyj" Javaruski, said the shooter shot at least five people, killing two or three, before taking his own life.

The sheriff's department on Twitter advised people to stay away from the area.

The department said one suspect was dead at the scene and and added that it is "unknown at the time if we have a second suspect."

The tournament, which took place at a collection of shops known as The Landing along the St Johns River, was broadcast on Twitch.

Shots can be heard in video from the live stream, which eventually cuts off amid shouts and gunfire.

The sheriff's department's Twitter indicated that many had sought safety in locked rooms in areas surrounding The Landing.

Authorities asked anyone sheltering to call 911 so they could be found and assisted, and warned them not to "come running out" as SWAT was conducting a "methodical search" of the area.

EA Sports Madden NFL released a preliminary statement via Twitter.

"We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville," the statement said.

"We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage."

The company followed up with a second statement shortly after, expressing its "deepest sympathies" to those involved.

Gaming organisation Complexity Gaming, which had a player at the event, also issued a statement to Variety saying they were "shocked and saddened by this afternoon's events".

Complexity said their player was hit in the thumb but "is going to be fine".

"He managed to escape and run down the street to a nearby gym. He's currently co-operating with the authorities and we will be flying him out of Jacksonville as soon as we are given the green light from the officials on the ground."

AAP

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