Fla. shooting suspect was able to buy guns despite mental illness


BALTIMORE (AP) — Even though the suspect in a shooting at a Florida video game tournament had been hospitalized for mental illness, authorities say he was able to legally purchase the two handguns he was carrying at the time of the attack.

David Katz had a 9mm handgun and .45-caliber handgun when he opened fire Sunday at a gaming bar inside a collection of restaurants and shops in Jacksonville. He killed two people and wounded 10 others before fatally shooting himself during the "Madden NFL 19" tournament.

Divorce filings in Maryland from Katz's parents say he was twice hospitalized as an adolescent in psychiatric facilities and was prescribed antipsychotic and antidepressant medications.

When buying the weapons, the 24-year-old Baltimore man would have been required by federal law to disclose whether he was ever involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

In addition, in Maryland, where Katz purchased the weapons, state police require gun buyers' consent for a state health agency to disclose whether they suffer from a mental disorder, have a history of violent behavior or have been confined for more than 30 consecutive days to a mental health facility.

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