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David Katz, 24, was admitted twice to mental health facilities and showed an obsession with video games, records show

'Politicians, wake up': Witnesses respond to Jacksonville shooting – video

The suspect in the deadly shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, at the weekend had been twice hospitalized with mental health issues, records show.

Authorities say David Katz, 24, opened fire at a Madden football video game tournament on Sunday, killing two people and wounding 10 others before killing himself.

Details of the shooter’s troubled past emerged as the video game-maker Electronic Arts cancelled three upcoming tournaments of its Madden NFL 19 football game in order to review safety protocols.

Court records reviewed by the Associated Press in Katz’s home state of Maryland noted that he was prescribed antipsychotic and antidepressant medications, and showed an obsession with video games.

He was twice admitted to mental health facilities, with the first hospitalization occurring in 2007, according to divorce filings from his parents in Howard county, Maryland.

Katz played video games obsessively as a young teen, according to the court documents, often refusing to go to school or bathe. His mother, Elizabeth Katz, said she confiscated some of her son’s gaming equipment after finding him staying up playing in the early hours of the morning.

“His hair would very often go unwashed for days. When I took his gaming equipment controllers away so he couldn’t play at three or four in the morning, I’d get up and find that he was just walking around the house in circles,” she said, according to a transcript in the court records.

He once punched a hole in the door of his mother’s bedroom after she put his gaming controllers in the room and locked the door, she said.

Katz legally purchased two handguns from a Baltimore gun store, Jacksonville’s Sheriff Mike Williams has said.

State law prevents someone from passing a background check to buy guns if they have been admitted to a psychiatric facility for at least 30 consecutive days, but Katz’s two known hospitalizations appear to have been too short to qualify.

The records show that the shooter’s parents clashed repeatedly over his treatment and the severity of his mental health issues.

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Katz lost the Madden NFL 19 video game tournament at the GLHF Game Bar, part of the Jacksonville Landing entertainment complex in downtown Jacksonville, on Sunday. He then opened fire on other competitors, killing Elijah Clayton, 22, and Taylor Robertson, 27, authorities said.

“They were respected, positive and skilled competitors, the epitome of the players and personalities at the heart of our community,” Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts (EA), said of the two victims in a statement released early on Tuesday.

Wilson said in the aftermath of the shooting the company had canceled the three remaining qualifying events for the Madden NFL 19 Classic.

The killings rocked the world of professional video game tournaments, also known as esports, which boasts an estimated 250 million players worldwide in a growing market worth about $1bn a year.

On Tuesday, Jacksonville law firm Morgan & Morgan announced that several survivors of the shooting will file a lawsuit this week alleging negligence.

Lawyer Matt Morgan would not name the defendants who will be targeted in the suit or identify his clients, but said he represents about a half dozen survivors including one person who was shot and wounded.