village of merrick park, coral gables

Abeku Wilson: Equinox Gym Shooting Suspect Killed Merrick Park Co-Workers, Coral Gables, Florida Police Say

Abeku Wilson shot and killed the Equinox general manager and a personal trainer before turning his gun on himself during the gym shooting in the Village of Merrick Park shopping complex in Coral Gables, Florida, police say. Wilson was reportedly an agitated and disgruntled former employee who was fired for workplace violence just 24 hours before the deadly rampage. One unidentified victim survived the shooting.

The 33-year-old Equinox gym shooting killer murdered personal trainer Janine Ackerman, 35, and the Coral Gables fitness center manager, Marios Hortis, 45. The personal trainer was the Merrick Park gym employee responsible for Abeku Wilson’s firing the day before the murders, according to a report by Local 10 News.

“Five gunshots,” rang out during the shooting, according to Coconut Grove nurse Ovi Viera, who was washing up in the locker room when the deadly chaos began. “It was too loud for it to have been a weight dropping. Within two seconds, people just started running out.”

Abeku Wilson was escorted off the Equinox gym premises after getting fired, the Miami Herald reports. Both Janine Ackerman and Marios Hortis were rushed to a Coral Gables area hospital after the Florida gym shooting. They were reportedly in critical condition upon their arrival.

Janine Ackerman attended Florida International University and received a master’s degree in hospitality management. The personal trainer worked low-level hourly jobs at Florida hotels before working her way up to become the VIP services supervisor at the upscale Fontainebleau resort in Miami.

“She was warm and caring, and she was an expert at guest service. That’s why she excelled at what she did,” Fontainebleau President Phil Goldfarb said about the former staffer. The entire team at the Fontainebleau is devastated at this senseless loss.”

Janine Ackerman was hired as the assistant manager to the general manager of the Equinox gym in Coral Cables last August. She began working the Village of Merrick Park fitness center in October of 2015.

The Equinox gym sent an email to members after both of the popular staffers were pronounced dead. The official statement from the fitness center deemed Janine Ackerman a “kind and caring soul,” who was well-loved and would be deeply missed by so many.

The same email also mourned the loss of Marios Hortis. The Equinox gym letter to members said the manager possessed a “generous spirit and warm demeanor” that always made him a “welcome presence” adding Hortis would also be incredibly missed.

A witness to the Florida gym shooting said Hortis was conscious after the shooting but was bleeding heavily. Ackerman was not reportedly conscious after being shot inside the Equinox gym. Abeku Wilson was reportedly found dead on the floor when Coral Gables police and medical first responders arrived at the gruesome scene.

A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helicopter landed on the Coral Gables Senior High School athletic field to reach and then quickly transport, the wounded found inside the Equinox fitness center. All of the victims were transported to the Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center for care.

Abeku Wilson was deemed one of the most well-liked trainers at the Florida gym, according to local media reports. Witnesses to the shooting said the typically well-shaven and clean cut physical trainer appeared disheveled when he walked into the fitness center. Before starting a career training others, Wilson was a fitness model who had been featured in various related print publications.

The Equinox gym shooter was a Boston native who lived in Miami at the time of the slayings, the Daily Mail reports. Despite his appearance, one gym member who said he knew Wilson, stated he did not seem to be behaving abnormally when he entered the gym and then opened fire only moments later.

[Featured Image by GlebStock/Shutterstock]

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