The shooter who opened fire at a Tallahassee yoga studio, killing two people and injuring several others before committing suicide, has been identified as 40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle.
Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said on Friday night that Beierle “shot six people and pistol-whipped one other” before turning the gun on himself, as reported by the Daily Mail. According to a statement from City spokeswoman Jamie Van Pelt, the shooting at Hot Yoga Tallahassee, in Florida, which took place at around 5.30 p.m., appeared to be a matter of domestic dispute.
The gunman’s two fatal victims have been named as Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21. The remaining victims’ conditions are still unclear. The Tallahassee Democrat stated that Dr. Van Vessem was an internist and chief medical director for Capital Health Plan.
“Our Capital Health Plan family is deeply shocked and saddened about the tragic loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, among the other victims of this terrible incident. As CHP’s longtime chief medical director, Nancy has been a guiding, visionary force in our daily work to serve the wellness and health care needs of thousands of families in this community,” Capital Health Plan said in a statement.
They added that Dr. Van Vessem’s “dedication, caring, leadership, humanity, and experience” had turned her into one of the most “respected, inspiring, and accomplished medical professionals” both in the state and the country.
Binkley was a student at Florida State University, where Dr. Van Vessem was also a faculty member. University President John Thrasher said in a statement, “To lose one of our students and one of our faculty members in this tragic and violent way is just devastating to the Florida State University family.”
One of the witnesses, Alex Redding, told the Tallahassee Democrat he saw a woman running into the bar downstairs, and she was followed by a man with a bloody head. He added that another group of people sought help in Bar at Betton and that he was told a bearded, tall man was acting strangely in the studio before opening fire. The victim with blood on his head told Redding he attempted to stop Beierle, but he was pistol-whipped before the shooter committed suicide.
The Latest: Authorities identify the shooter at a yoga studio in Tallahassee and the two people he killed. https://t.co/yQbzxIVi12— The Associated Press (@AP) November 3, 2018
As reported by the Daily Mail, State Representative Kristin Jacobs, who was also in the bar, witnessed the aftermath of the tragic incident and said the three women who ran into the bar seeking for help were very distressed and kept repeating the word “shooter.”
“Many people are alive because this guy rushed the shooter,” Jacobs said, referring to the man who was pistol-whipped. Local media claimed there were 11 people signed up for Friday’s evening class.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, announced he would be breaking off his campaign trail to return to Florida’s capital city.