Calabasas High School will remember former football player Eli Clayton with a moment of silence before its scheduled football game against Lawndale High on Friday, Aug. 31.
Clayton, 22, was one of two victims gunned down Aug. 26 by an assailant who opened fire during a Madden NFL video game tournament taking place in Jacksonville, Fla. Also killed by gunfire was Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, West Va.
Nine other competitors were injured.
The suspected shooter, identified as David Katz — himself a tournament competitor — later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Clayton, known by the nickname “Trueboy,” graduated from Calabasas in 2014. He also attended and played football at Chaminade High in 2013 before transferring.
Clayton was considered a top electronic games competitor. He was competing in the second of the EA Sports “Madden 19” championship series tournament — and was considered one of the favorites to win — when the gunman attacked.
According to media reports Katz, who lived with his father in Baltimore, Maryland, had a history of mental illness and instability and had been hospitalized as a teenager
When Clayton’s death was confirmed, the school’s football team sent out the following Tweet: “We send our love, condolences, and deepest sense of sorrow to Elijah’s family and friends.”
Chaminade Principal Brother Tom Fahy also released a statement, saying Clayton was remembered as “a sweet, mild-mannered young man who always showed great respect for his peers and the faculty.” Elijah’s happy smile and compassion invoked a similar attitude in others. The entire Chaminade community is earnestly praying for Elijah’s family during this difficult time.”
Clayton had appeared on Twitter saying he had considered not going to the tournament, but changed his mind.
A GoFundMe page was established for Clayton and Robertson to help their families offset funeral expenses. At press time, More than $30,000 of the $50,000 goal had been raised.