Man opens fire on Florida yoga class, killing two women
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.