The Jacksonville, Florida, gaming tournament where two men were killed and nine others were shot Sunday started like any other high-stakes sporting event, with competitors expressing a combination of confidence, excitement and nerves as play got underway.
But then the shooting started at the GLHF Game Bar at Jacksonville Landing, near the end of the first quarter of the qualifying round for the Madden NFL 19 Classic. The match was being streamed online, and the audience could hear the gunshots as the video football game filled the screen.
Here’s how the shooting unfolded on social media.
August 25, 2018, the day before the shooting
Tony Montagnino, who goes by the name “G-Tech,” was worried about getting to the tournament on time. His flight from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Jacksonville was delayed because of a problem with the plane’s bathroom.
“I don’t know why I’m stressing…no madden tourney in the history of mankind has ever started on time right?” he said in a Tweet.
Eli “True” Clayton was pleased with his performance on Saturday.
“Won every game by max no one crossed the 50 or scored a point. Waiting for singles for tomorrow.”
Clayton was killed in the shooting, along with Taylor “spotmeplzzz” Robertson. This was one of Clayton’s last tweets.
Top players Drini Gjoka, who goes by “Young Drini,” and George “Fitzmagic13” Amadeo were getting psyched up for Sunday’s play.
August 26, 2018 – Game Day
1:22 p.m. – Gjoka tweeted about his first win and was excited about going to the next round.
Timothy “olarry” Anselimo was lamenting a late fumble in his game.
The shooting started a few minutes later.
1:37 p.m. – “The tourney just got shot up,” Gjoka said in the first of a series of tweets. “Im leavinng (sic) and never coming back.
1:41 p.m. – “I am literally so lucky. The bullet hit my thumb,” Gjoka said.
2:01 p.m. – “I will never take anything for granted ever again. Life can be cut short in a second,” he tweeted.
2:13 p.m. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office tweeted that there had been a mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing and urged people to avoid the area. The sheriff’s office later announced that the gunman, another player in the tournament, had fatally shot himself.
2:17 p.m. – Anselimo’s mother, who created the Twitter account “olarrysmom” in April to keep up with his gaming career, tweeted that her son had been shot three times.
4:15 p.m – Amadeo’s sister, Nina-Marie, tweeted that he had been shot and that she was making arrangements to fly to Jacksonville with their mother. She asked for prayers and financial help.
4:28 p.m. – Montagnino tweeted that he was shot twice, but would be okay. “I’m good… got hit twice. Lower body. One went through. The other was lodged.”
4:36 p.m. – Nina-Marie Amadeo, a student at Wellesley College, said that her brother was stable, but needed surgery.
“I maxed out my card just booking the emergency tickets there for my mom and myself. We’re going to need money for tickets back to NJ and medical bills. I’m handling logistics because my mom is in a panic, I’m just in shock,” she tweeted.
4:49 p.m. – Nina-Marie Amadeo said that the Wellesley community “really rallied behind my family and I” to provide the funds they needed to get to her brother.
7:56 p.m. – Montagnino asked his friends if they knew how Amadeo was doing.
8:00 p.m. – Anselimo’s mom posted a picture of him in a hospital bed, surrounded by friends. His right hand is bandaged, but he’s giving the “thumbs up” sign with his left. God was with these guys today, she tweeted.
8:52 p.m. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited Anselimo in the hospital.
9:13 p.m. – Anselimo’s mother posted a picture of his backpack, which was covered in his blood.
11:32 p.m. – Amadeo tweeted that he would have surgery on his foot on Monday morning and that everything should be okay.
“Praying for all involved including Spotme and Trueboy. My sister @NinaMarie716 has been keeping you guys updated. I was about 5 feet away from the shooter and my dad jumped on me… he didn’t get shot. I’m heartbroken,” he said.
August 27, 2018
12:39 a.m. – “Still doesn’t feel real,” Montagnino tweeted. “Saw a lot of things today I wish I hadn’t seen. But I also saw a community of people rally around each other and a massive amount of support from friends and family to check on everyone. I’m thankful for everyone of you guys in the community. I love y’all.”
1:57 a.m. – Anselimo tweeted “Devastated. No Words. Surgery In The Morning. Thanks To All Who Reached Out.”
6:59 a.m. – Amadeo tweeted that he was about to go into surgery and asked for prayers.
9:17 a.m. – “Still in shock,” Anselimo tweeted. “Woke up crying knowing today’s surgery will determine if I’ll ever be able to play video games again.”
12:48 p.m. – Anselimo’s mom tweeted that he just went into surgery.
1:16 p.m. – Amadeo got out of surgery and thanked everyone for their prayers
“Out of surgery thanks for your prayers. If I don’t respond to your message it doesn’t mean that I didn’t see it, means the world to me,” he tweeted.