'One of the nicest people': Jacksonville shooting victim Taylor Robertson was a humble family man

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Taylor Robertson, of Giles, W.Va., was described by fellow gamers as a family man dedicated to his wife and children.

In the competitive world of professional gaming, Taylor Robertson was a rare humble presence, his friends said.

The 28-year-old from Giles, W.Va., was described by fellow gamers as a family man dedicated to his wife and children.


On Sunday he was killed in the shooting at a Jacksonville, Fla., “Madden NFL” tournament. Authorities say a gunman killed two men and injured 10 others before taking his own life.

Robertson was seen as one of the more mature players in the gaming community.


“In a community filled with people showboating and talking about themselves all the time, he was a guy that was very humble,” said Chris “Dubby” McFarland, 31. “He always had a smile on his face. He was a guy that had a job and a family and still tried to compete with the 18- and 19-year-olds that are out there playing all day.”

Robertson, who used the gamer tag "Spotmeplzzz," won the Madden Classic tournament in 2016. Over the course of his professional gaming career, he’s won over $80,500, according to his profile.

In a YouTube interview published by EA Sports, Robertson said he had played Madden NFL since he was 10 and started playing competitively a few years ago.

"It's certainly possible for any player to do this," Robertson said in the video. "You've just got to put in the time. You've got to grind. You've got to play a lot of games and just working on getting better."

Gamer Derek Jones, who lost to Robertson in the 2016 tournament, said his onetime rival was "one of the nicest people I ever met."

"There's no way that guy did anything to deserve to get shot," said Jones, who traveled to the Florida tournament from Santa Fe, N.M. "He's got a family at home, and he just came out here to try to win some money for this family."

David Katz, of Maryland, has been identified as the suspected shooter. Katz, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was a fellow gamer who had been eliminated from the competition, authorities said.

Elijah Clayton, another gamer, was also killed in the attack.


"They were great competitors and well-loved members of the Madden community," Dot City Gaming, the professional esports team of which Robertson was a member, tweeted. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to their families, loved ones, and all of those affected by this tragedy."

According to West Virginia station WVNS-TV, Robertson was a 2009 graduate of James Monroe High School.

A friend, Andrew Evens, told WVNS that Robertson for his athleticism, grades and friendship.

"He was the most humble human being to have the abilities and the talents that he did," Evans said.

The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times contributed to this article.