Former Southern California Football Player Identified as Jacksonville Shooting Victim - NBC Southern California

Former Southern California Football Player Identified as Jacksonville Shooting Victim

Elijah Clayton was remembered as an exceptional teammate, dedicated student and 'joyful human being'

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    SoCal Man Killed in Florida Shooting Mourned

    Calabasas High School Principal Catherine Foss said Elijah Clayton was a kind-hearted student who stuck up for others. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. (Published Monday, Aug. 27, 2018)

    What to Know

    • Three people, including the gunman, died in Sunday's shooting at Jacksonville Landing

    One of two victims killed in a shooting at a video game competition Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida was remembered as a kind-hearted student and athlete who made a lasting impression on teammates, students, teachers and coaches.

    Elijah Clayton, 22, was a member of West Hills' Chaminade College Preparatory class of 2014. He attended the school for three years before completing studies at Calabasas High School and going on to become a successful competitive video gamer. 

    Clayton, also known as TrueBoy, was killed when gunfire erupted Sunday during a "Madden NFL 19" video game tournament at the entertainment complex in Jacksonville. 

    "Elijah was a great kid and a great man," said Cynthia Morse, his maternal grandmother.  "Thoughful, kind, expressive."

    Former Principal Remembers Video Gamer Killed in Jacksonville

    [LA] Former Principal Remembers Video Gamer Killed in Jacksonville

    Calabasas High School Principal Catherine Foss said Elijah Clayton was a kind-hearted student who stuck up for others. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at 11 a.m. on Monday Aug. 27, 2018.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 27, 2018)

    Clayton grew up in the San Fernando Valley with his mother, stepfather, and younger brother.  He began playing Madden football at age five, his grandmother recalled, but also made time for physical football, and made teams at both the high schools he attended. 

    "He was such a joyful human being," said Calabasas High School Principal Catherine Foss. "Every one of these stories has a face, and he's our face. He's our kid."

    Foss recalled an encounter with Clayton in her office after one of his friend's ran into some trouble: "He just really spoke well for his friend and said, 'Please, Ms. Foss, he's a really good kid. He didn't mean to do this. I'm going to talk to him. I'm going to take care of him. I'm going to keep him in line.'"

    Foss added, "He was a leader."

    A post on the Calabasas High School football page said the team is heartbroken.

    In a statement released by Chaminade College Preparatory, Clayton was described as a "sweet, mild-mannered young man who always showed great respect for his peers and the faculty."

    "He was a dedicated student, doing his best in the classroom while being a great teammate to his football family," the statement continued. "Often he was assigned to the 'scout team,' a role he embraced because it improved the overall performance of the team. "

    Clayton played on Chaminade's Mission league winning Junior Varsity team.

    "He wanted to help the team any way he could," recalled former coach Matt Holly.  "He had a great attitude."

    Taylor Robinson, 28, of Giles, West Virginia, was identified as the other competitor killed in the shooting attack that occurred during a Madden Classic Tournament qualifying event at Jacksonville Landing, a shopping and dining area on the St. John's River.  Eleven more were wounded.

    "He was a dedicated student, doing his best in the classroom while being a great teammate to his football family," the statement continued. "Often he was assigned to the 'scout team,' a role he embraced because it improved the overall performance of the team. "

    Including the gunman, three people died in the mass shooting. Ten other people were also wounded during a "Madden NFL 19" tournament at an entertainment complex Sunday afternoon.

    Twenty-four-year-old David Katz of Baltimore, Maryland, was identified as the shooter by officials. Katz, who police said took his own life, was attending the Florida video game tournament.

    Authorities have not confirmed a motive.

    Late Monday, the company that created the Madden game and competition announced that the remaining three qualifying tournaments were being canceled.

    In a statement, Andrew Wilson, Electronic Arts CEO, said, "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."

    Wilson also stated, "We are committed to supporting Taylor and Elijah's families through this difficult time, and we send our deepest sympathies to their loved ones, to those injured yesterday, and everyone affected."

    Mother Jones identified Sunday's mass shooting as the seventh such occurrence of 2018.

    The Madden qualifier scheduled for mid-September at the ESports Arena in Santa Ana was among the events canceled for the safety review.

    Get the latest from NBC4 anywhere, anytime