Man opens fire on Florida yoga class, killing two women

The Modesto Bee (Sunday) - - Nation - By Avi Selk

A man in Florida who had been re­peat­edly ac­cused of grop­ing women walked into a yoga class and opened fire Fri­day evening, ac­cord­ing to Tal­la­has­see po­lice – shoot­ing six peo­ple and killing two of them de­spite an at­tempt to fight him off.

Po­lice said Scott Paul Beierle, 40, killed him­self min­utes be­fore they ar­rived at the Hot Yoga stu­dio, which sits above a row of restau­rants at a north­ern Tal­la­has­see shop­ping cen­ter.

“I have had to be on some bad scenes. This is the worst,” City Com­mis­sioner Scott Mad­dox wrote af­ter view­ing the at­tack’s af­ter­math. “Please pray.”

About a dozen peo­ple were in­side Hot Yoga when a man with a black bag walked in about 5:30 p.m., the Tal­la­has­see Demo­crat re­ported. The stu­dio had ad­ver­tised a Pi­lates cer­ti­fi­ca­tion class for the week­end.

Among the stu­dents were Maura Bink­ley, 21, and Nancy Van Vessem, 61 – re­spec­tively a stu­dent and a fac­ulty mem­ber at Florida State Uni­ver­sity.

Po­lice were seek­ing a mo­tive for the shoot­ing.

Beierle had been ar­rested twice in six years by the uni­ver­sity’s po­lice, ac­cord­ing to crim­i­nal records. The first time was in 2012, when two women ac­cused him of grab­bing their but­tocks on cam­pus, the Demo­crat re­ported. He was de­tained again two years later for tres- pass­ing in a din­ing hall.

About a month af­ter the 2014 ar­rest, Buz­zFeed News re­ported, Beierle posted a se­ries of YouTube videos about his ha­tred of women un­der the name “Scott Carnifex.”

In a video ti­tled “The Re­birth of my Misog­y­nism,” he an­grily re­called an in­ci­dent in his eighth­grade home eco­nom­ics class and “the will that a group of fe­males can gen­er­ate when they tar­get any­one, be it an adult male or a class­mate.” In a video called “Plight of the Ado­les­cent Male,” he iden­ti­fied with El­liott Rodger, an avowed misog­y­nist who killed six peo­ple at his uni­ver­sity ear­lier that year.

Charges were dis­missed for both of his uni­ver­sity ar­rests, but Tal­la­has­see po­lice ar­rested him in 2016, and he agreed to a plea deal for mis­de­meanor bat­tery. He had asked a sun­bather at his apart­ment if he could put lo­tion on her, the Demo­crat re­ported, and groped her when she re­fused.

Sur­vivors said Beierle kept walk­ing in and out of the yoga stu­dio as class be­gan Fri­day evening, said Melissa Hutchin­son, who works at a restau­rant below Hot Yoga and later cleaned a sur­vivor’s blood off the kitchen floor.

“They said he just kept com­ing in and out the doors and was a lit­tle sketchy,” Hutchin­son told the Demo­crat. “But no­body said any­thing.”

The man stopped in the stu­dio’s door­way, pulled a gun from the bag and loaded it. Only then did peo­ple try to flee or fight.

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