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SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) — A Southwest Miami-Dade man who survived the mass shooting in Jacksonville is speaking out, saying “the lives of the victims should never have been lost.”

Abbott Lopez spoke to CBS4’s Peter D’Oench as he returned to his home in Southwest Miami-Dade. He described the chaotic moments Sunday at the Madden 19 online game tournament as the shots were fired.

“We ducked and hit the ground. We didn’t think it was real until we heard the glass breaking,” said Lopez who has been playing in such tournaments for the past two years. “Then we got up and ran. I was in fear and we didn’t know what was going on and if we would be safe. I never thought something like this would happen.”

“I am angry about what happened and I have a lot of questions,” he said.

“We were in the middle of a game when this happened. We were all in the same room. It was not that big. And I heard a lot of screaming.”

He said he knew several of the victims including the two men who lost their lives: 22-year-old Elijah “Eli” Clayton of Woodland Hills, California and 27-year-old Taylor Robertson, a husband and a father from Ballard, West Virginia.

“Eli and Taylor,” he said, “they were good people. This is sad and this is a tragedy and I send my prayers to their families. Their lives should never have been lost. I am just grateful that I am alive and again I send prayers to the families of their two men who lost their lives.”

Lopez said he did not know the accused gunman—-24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore.

He reportedly was a disgruntled gamer who was angry that he lost Sunday’s tournament.

“I don’t know anything about that,” said Lopez, “and that’s not something that I can talk about, why he did it.”

Lopez said he did not want to talk about security at the tournament or his future playing in such events.

The full interview with Lopez can be seen below.

Peter D'Oench


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