Madden Gamer Hailed as Hero for Shielding Young Players During Jacksonville Mass Shooting

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 28, 2018US News
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A man participating in the Madden 19 tournament in Florida on Aug. 26, has been hailed as a hero for jumping on fellow players to shield them after a gunman started shooting.

The mass shooting left two people dead, plus the gunman, as well as 10 injured.

Ronald Casey, known in the gaming world as SirusTheVirus, was at the tournament at The Jacksonville Landing when the bullets started ringing out.

‘I see people getting shot’

“The gun shots started taking off just, pop, pop, pop, and it just like it took everyone by surprise,” he told WKEF. “This was the worst thing I’ve seen in my life. I’m sitting there and I see these people getting shot.”

Casey, 30, said he was standing behind the players seen in a live stream playing a Madden game as the gunshots started.

Once the gamer, later identified as David Katz, started shooting, Casey tried to think of what to do.

“A bullet hit the wall or whatever came over and I could smell it,” he said. “That’s when I was like, man, I just made the decision to jump on top of the guys.”

He used his body to shield some younger players.

‘He’ll have to shoot through me’

“I’m 6’3” and 360 pounds. I figured, if the gunman is going to come into our small area, he’ll have to shoot through me to get to them,” Casey told the New York Daily News.

Casey shielded Joel Crooms-Porter, 18, and Matt Clark, 25.

Crooms-Porter confirmed the account.

“I’m not mentally stable enough to talk about it much. I still haven’t cleaned the blood off of everything. But yeah, he did cover me. I thanked him on Twitter,” Crooms-Porter said.

“I can’t begin to thank you for covering my child,” his mother added on Twitter in a post thanking Casey.

Damon “Adjust” Kirk, another gamer at the tournament, called Casey a hero.

Gunman Targeted People

Multiple accounts have emerged following the shooting that have indicated Katz was targeting specific players, which enabled others to survive despite the small space they were in.

After Katz shot 12 people, he turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

The victims were identified as Taylor “SpotMePlzzz” Robertson, and Eli “Trueboy” Clayton.

Clayton had just scored a touchdown before being shot, gamers said. Many said he was the best at the tournament and was expected to win the entire competition, which the tournament served as a qualifier for.

EA Sports canceled the remaining regional tournaments.

“We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators. We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events,” CEO Andrew Wilson said in a statement.

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