TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A shooter killed two people and wounded five others at a yoga studio in Tallahassee before killing himself Friday evening, officials said.
- Shooter killed 2, wound 5 at Tallahassee yoga studio
- Shooter identified as Scott Paul Beierle
- Victims identified as Nancy Van Vessem & Maura Binkley
The crime scene was located at in a shopping plaza near Thomasville Road and Bradford Road. Officials said the shooter shot five people after entering the hot yoga studio, then pistol-whipped another person before shooting himself.
“We’re all very saddened and shocked by the events that occurred, but it’s important that people understand that there is no immediate threat outside of what has already occurred this evening,” said Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo.
The Tallahassee Police Department identified the shooter as Scott Paul Beierle, 40, early Saturday morning. Authorities say he lived in Deltona, was a graduate Florida State University, and a military veteran.
According to a Tallahassee PD in a news release, Beierle has had past run-ins with law enforcement related to "harassing young women" and numerous charges including battery.
The two people killed have been identified as Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21, a student at Florida State University.
Sarah Hodges, 34, and Daniela Archila, 21, are in stable condition. Sabrina O'Dette, 21, Daniela Garcia Albalat, 19, and Joshua Quick, 33, have been treated and released from an area hospital.
Van Vessem served as chief medical director for Capital Health Plan, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.
Florida State University President John Thrasher says Van Vessem and Binkley had ties to the university, the Democrat reported.
“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. We feel this loss profoundly and we send our deepest sympathies to Maura’s and Nancy’s loved ones while we pray for the recovery of those who were injured,” Thrasher said in a statement.
Police say Volusia County Sheriff's Office assisted officers with serving a search warrant at Beierle's Deltona home.
Witnesses say it was shocking to see something like this happen in the area.
The plaza is home to popular restaurants, a jewelry store, a framing shop, a hair salon, and other businesses.
The man who was pistol-whipped while trying to stop the shooter said the shooter kept coming in and out of the studio. When he loaded his gun, people started pounding on the windows of the studio to warn people.
City Commissioner Scott Maddox who was on the scene, said on Facebook, "In my public service career I have had to be on some bad scenes. This is the worst. Please pray."
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, tweeted that he’s breaking off the campaign trail to return to Tallahassee. He earlier appeared at a campaign event with former President Barack Obama.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, called DeLeo and the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to get details of the shooting.
“I will remain in constant communication with law enforcement. We have offered state assistance,” Scott tweeted.
Investigators are still trying to determine his direct connection to the victims and business.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.