This weekend, tragedy unfolded in an Ocala, Florida-based restaurant parking lot after an altercation between a Madden developer and another man escalated into a murder. According to the police report, EA Tiburon employee Jonathan Sullivan had originally started the altercation between himself and a man named Robert Bavle, but when the latter party drew a firearm, Sullivan attempted to run away. Bavle fired at least 13 shots at the retreating Madden developer, who later died en route to a local hospital. It is unclear how many times Sullivan was shot by the assailant.
Jonathan Sullivan, who had been a member of the Madden NFL gameplay team since May 2016, was just 27. While he may have started the altercation by punching 23-year-old Bavle in the face, once Bavle opened fired on the retreating man, the situation swayed from self defense into second degree murder.
The police report states that the first 2 shots – fired where the fight began – were likely fired in self-defense. The shots that were fired 5 to 8 feet, 38, and 50 feet from where the fight began, however, show that Bavle was then pursuing Sullivan and, ultimately, murdering him over the course of at least 13 shots. At the end, Sullivan was lying prone on the ground, with Bavle opening fire on top of him.
Rex Dickson, EA Sports‘ creative director for the Madden franchise, broke the tragic news to the masses:
— Rex Dickson (@RexDEAFootball) June 19, 2017
According to witness testimony noted in the police reports, an unknown biker drew his own firearm on Bavle, forcing him to stay on the ground until police could arrive on the scene. Sullivan was picked up by an ambulance shortly after, but succumbed to his wounds en route to the hospital.
A spokesperson for EA Tiburon released the following statement on behalf of the studio:
We are all shocked and deeply saddened by Jon Sullivan’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. Sully was a much-loved member of our team at EA Tiburon, and his presence will be sorely missed.
According to a statement made by Sullivan’s mother, she believes he and Bavle were previously acquainted. She was told by a friend that her son had recently purchased a ticket to a VIP Club in Orlando, though it’s currently unknown if this is related to why the two began fighting.
Sullivan, born in Macon, Georgia, volunteered with Boys & Girls Club of Marion County to teach youth basketball. His mother states that he also helped her out with volunteering efforts in his free time. His mother believes he was in Ocala for a pickup basketball game. His family has decided to donate his organs in memory of a friend who had cancer.
As of this Monday, Bavle was still held in the Marion County Jail with a bail set at $50,000.
We send our condolences to Sullivan’s friends and family.
Source: Rex Dickson – Twitter