ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Jacob Mitich had made it to round two of the Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, and had almost scored a touchdown when the shots rang out.
Vaulting over a table, he distorted to end crowded room. At first he ran out to the water where he and his friends had seen dolphins the day before. Believing that the shooter could follow, he sprinted for a few minutes while operating on pure adrenaline.
"It was when my leg began to hurt. I thought there were cramps. I went to take my left leg and there was blood everywhere. I was shot."
Mitich was one of 10 people injured on sunday during the esports competition. Three died, including the shooter.
Mitich is now filing a lawsuit against the game developer who held the tournament, the pizza room that organized the event and the shopping center where it was.
"We sit there playing a video game, we should not worry about anyone coming up behind us and shooting us," says Mitich, a 23-year college student from Fallston, Maryland.
Mitich and his lawyer sued the circuit court in Duval County on Thursday, and spoke exclusively to The Associated Press by telephone.
A prolonged Madden gamer, he and other elite esporters, went to such events not only in hopes of winning money but to retrieve their tribe of players.
When he met his friends on Friday night, they went to check out the tournament spot at Chicago Pizza, the restaurant and bar at The Landings Waterfront Mall in downtown Jacksonville.
"We were all laughing at because of how small it was, "he said.
He and his friends went to Hooters that night, so went to the tournament all day Saturday. It was so crowded that they had to compete in groups of ten and people could not easily see their friends play. [1
"He did not like to communicate, he was antisocial," said Mitich. "The previous year he had won the Buffalo Bill club series. I did not think he had a reaction to winning or losing."
So it was Mitich's trip. It was Round Two, which meant that he continued on his friend, Taylor Robertson – a 28-year-old West Virginian known in the esports community as "Spot Me," after his twitter act @spotmeplzzz – stood behind and watched.
Mitich made a game of persecution and almost scored .
"pop pop pop. I thought it was a balloon. I did not know what it was, he said. He heard someone say the word, "shooter", and that's when he ran. Katz was the shooter.
Robertson was right behind him, or he thought.
When Mitich discovered that he was shot, a passerby helped him to go to a nearby office building where a security guard let them in. 19659002] Mitich's injuries were not life threatening – he was released from the hospital that night and flew home Monday morning. However, his friend Robertson was badly shot.
Mitich's lawyer, James Young with Morgan & Morgan in Jacksonville, said the case alleged negligence. There was no official officer for the event, which drew more than 100 people, he said. The shopping center had a private security guard, and she was discovered in the pizza before shooting, but Young said it was unclear where she was under the shooting.
On Wednesday, the fire inspectors in Jacksonville drove down Chicago Pizza. A city code bride report says that the restaurant was not allowed to hold the Madden NFL 19 tournament. The Florida Times Union also reported that the restaurant's last approved building layout was delivered in 2009. Fire inspectors said that the layout was changed without approval to create the GLHF Game Bar, the room in which the tournament took place.
The restaurant's answering machine was full on Thursday and a message on Facebook was not returned. When it came to comment, a spokeswoman for The Landing did not respond directly to the claims, and instead said that the company cooperated with the authorities.
Young said the color also seeks relief from Electronic Arts Inc., game developer, to provide safe seats for tournaments. The lawsuit said Electronic Arts failed to provide security, screen players, inform local law enforcement about the tournament or tell players something about the venue. Similar security claims were made against other defendants.
Electronic Arts did not respond to a sent request for comments, but in a statement earlier this week, CEO Andrew Wilson said that they canceled all planned Madden qualifying events "while we ran a comprehensive review of security protocols for competitors and spectators. collaborate with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events. "
Four days after shooting, Mitich hopes to begin college a week late. But memories of his friend Robertson haunt him.
"His life ended up watching me play Madden."
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