Police are actively investigating a top competitive gamer in Las Vegas after he allegedly made violent threats towards other players while already on a ban for his outbursts and aggressive behavior.
A spokesperson for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department tells The Blast authorities responded to a call earlier this week from local competitive store, Game Nest, after screenshots circulated online purportedly showing gamer Jacob Johnson making shooting threats both towards another gamer and patrons of the shop.
The 21-year-old Super Smash Bros. player, who competes as "JK," has been ranked #1 locally and considered the 37th best player in the world. JK allegedly sent a slew of DMs to a rival player and threatened to shoot him "with a real fucking gun" the next time he sees him at a tournament and warned him not to go to Game Nest "or else you will be dead."
Screenshots of the shooting threats went viral after they were shared by YouTube star Keem, the creator of "DramaAlert."
Earlier this month, Johnson showed up to Game Nest and was asked to leave by employees. Shortly after, the owner of the store put out a message on social media advising all the gamers of what happened, and explaining that Johnson is currently banned from the store based on his previous incidents.
He also revealed that the gamer was previously banned from attempting to mow down video game competitors in his vehicle. JK later apologized, claiming it was a "bad publicity stunt" and he would be seeking professional help. It appears there were no injuries during that incident.
We're told police were called during the most recent event, but Johnson was gone by the time they arrived. As for the shooting threats, authorities are continuing to search for him and also contacting local gaming spots.
He's also now permanently banned from entering Game Nest, according to the store's owner, who emphasized a concern for JK's mental health. He described JK as a seemingly "good kid" who just fell victim to the pressures of being a good competitor and having rivalries with other players.
"We always try and promote safety, not violence, and don't allow guns in the store," the owner says, adding "It's a huge scare for us and a serious offense and even though I know some players might not take the threats seriously, we just can't risk having him inside the store."
Safety at video game tournaments has been a source of concern among the community, especially after two gamers were killed in a shooting in Jacksonville, FL earlier this year by a disgruntled gamer who lost during a "Madden" tournament.