In the immediate aftermath of breaking news stories, many outlets (including us) work feverishly to get accurate information posted. It doesn’t always work as it should. But after the shooting Sunday at a video game competition, some outlets mistakenly identified the wrong person as the shooter. This came as a surprise to the man they claimed was the shooter.
David Katz, 24, shot multiple people at the Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida Sunday. Two were killed. He also killed himself. Katz was one of the contestants, and had lost, and shot at his rivals.
As pseudonyms are common in the world of competitive gaming, the mistaken identity is easy to explain.
Several people assumed that a Reddit user called “Ravenchamps” was the shooter. Katz actually went by “Ravens2012champs.”
“Infowars, Gateway Pundit and conservative commentator Mike Cernovich were among those to report that the Jacksonville shooter was a Trump basher based on the Reddit user’s prior activity,” Daily Mail writes.
“They continued to do so even after the Ravenchamps user took to Reddit on Monday night to declare that he wasn’t the gunman and was in fact still alive.”
“I’m apparently the madden shooter what’s up,” the actual “Ravenchamps” wrote. “Ask away as this is entertaining,” he added.
After the confusion surfaced, other reporters tracked “Ravenchamps” down. He is a Minnesota man named Pavel.
“I went on Reddit. I noticed I had 60, 70 unread messages. Usually I have two or something,” Pavel told reporters.
“I look at the messages and it’s a bunch of people using my username claiming I’m that Madden shooter person.”
Some of those who blamed the shooting on Pavel have since apologized.
The mass shooter’s Reddit handle is different from one that previously circulated and thus there is no evidence that the tragic shooting was politically based in any way or by either side. My apologies to readers.
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) August 28, 2018
“The mass shooter’s Reddit handle is different from one that previously circulated and thus there is no evidence that the tragic shooting was politically based in any way or by either side. My apologies to readers,” Cernovich tweeted.
Infowars took down their article. Gateway Pundit simply noted the error: “An anonymous Reddit user was mis-identified in an earlier post.”
The motive for the misinformation seems to have stemmed from “Ravenchamps” posts, which took a decidedly anti-Trump tone. This, it seems, was conflated to be part of the shooter’s motive in the attack Sunday.
Katz’s actual motive remains unclear.