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Jacksonville mass shooting has Seattle-area gamers worried about PAX West conference security

UPDATE: Monday night, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said the company would "cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators."

Wilson said the company would work with partners "and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events."

Organizers of the PAX West event in Seattle, which starts Friday, said they do not publicly announce or discuss details of security in order to maintain effectiveness.

"However, we work closely with the Washington State Convention Center, private security, the Seattle Police Department and federal law enforcement authorities to identify risks, assess them and develop our comprehensive security protocols for PAX West," spokesman Kyle MacGregor Burleson said in a written statement.

"We have in place extensive proactive measures; some that are visible during PAX events and many that are not. We are always working to improve our security plans and, if need be, adjust them, to ensure that we are doing all that we can to make PAX West, and all PAX events, a safe and secure environment for the community."

ORIGINAL TEXT: Three people are dead, including the gunman, after a mass shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville.

Nine other people are recovering.

“People dead, seen people shot, seen people injured. It was a horrific scene,” said a witness at the conference. People at the conference said the shooter opened fire after losing a game.

The suspected shooter has been identified as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, Maryland. The sheriff’s office in Jacksonville says Katz killed himself after the rampage.

A gamer from Seattle, 21-year-old Shay Kivlen, was in Jacksonville competing Sunday when the shooting happened.

He tweeted: “I’m alright. Please keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers. I’m so shaken right now. I love y’all."

He also  mourned one of the victims shot and killed Sunday - fellow player, Elijah Clayton. Kivlen called him, "One of my best friends in life."

Others in the Seattle area are also reacting to the tragedy. Plus, the shooting has some wondering about the security at a big gaming convention in our area next weekend.

PAX West starts on Friday and will bring tens of thousands of people to Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center.

Online, people say that historically, there have been no metal detectors at PAX West, though on the PAX website, it says “walkthrough or hand held scanners may be used at the show.”

Read the show's security policies here.

It has some calling on PAX to do more to ensure safety.

Sara Ventura of Redmond tweeted, “PAX is this week. What will you do to make it safer? Right now there are no metal detectors, security barely looks at passes, & I'm considering selling my tix."

The shooting has people in the Seattle-area gaming community stunned.

“There are some gaming communities that are notoriously toxic, but never heard of anything like this,” said Nathan McNamara, a Redmond gamer who plans to be at the PAX West conference. “Armed, just in case he lost. It’s very bewildering,” he said.

Other people say even if PAX adds more security, it wouldn't eliminate the risk of a mass shooting.

“How can you stop it? Better training? Raising better social people getting to realize we have a social contract with other people?” said Marcus Evenstar, a Seattle-area gamer who plays both video and tabletop games.

And most people KIRO 7 talked with going to PAX West said the Jacksonville shooting won’t stop them from going.

James Pfeiffer will be flying in from New Orleans on Tuesday.

“It makes me sad we have this conversation, but it doesn’t deter me from wanting to attend these events, because the whole point is to celebrate the fact that there are tens of thousands of people who like the things I like,” Pfeiffer said.

“I think it speaks to the numbing or desensitization that we've gone through over the last 20 years,” McNamara said.

KIRO 7 has reached out to PAX for comment on whether it will tighten security measures after the Jacksonville shooting, but didn’t hear back on Sunday.