A tragic football twist to the mass shootings that erupted during an e-sports tournament at a popular Jacksonville bar on Sunday: Both of the gunman’s victims were former high school football stars.
As reported by the New York Post, both 21-year-old Elijah Clayton and 27-year-old Taylor Robertson were football stars who later became highly successful pro-gamers. They were competing at a video gaming tournament, playing EA Sports’ Madden game, when they were shot dead by David Katz, who later killed himself.
Katz had also been competing at the tournament and had been eliminated earlier.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Clayton was a significant contributor at Chaminade College Preparatory in West Hills in 2012 and Calabasas High School in 2013. He later became a Madden star under the pseudonym “Trueboy,” and was a perpetual contender to win nearly every competition he was enrolled in.
“The hardest part for me is he was a young guy,” Garret Scartace, one of Clayton’s former high school teammates, told the Times. “His family … will never get to see him grow old, get his first house, get married, have kids. For that to be taken from him over a video game — it leaves me speechless.”
Robertson was a running back at James Monroe High School in West Virginia. While was not as established an e-sports or Madden star as Clayton, the gamer who played under the name “Spotmeplzz” won 72 percent of the Madden games he had participated in.
“I looked up to him so much when I was little as did most boys in Peterstown,” Andrew Evans, a Monroe County resident who knew Robertson, wrote on Facebook according to West Virginia Metro News. “He loved his family more than anything.”