Scott Paul Beierle killed two and wounded five in a yoga studio. He had a history of grabbing women. Picture: Leon County Sheriff’s Office via AP
Scott Paul Beierle killed two and wounded five in a yoga studio. He had a history of grabbing women. Picture: Leon County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Yoga studio shooter’s sick history revealed

AUTHORITIES have identified the shooter at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, and the two people he killed, as disturbing facts about his past have been revealed.

The Tallahassee Police Department has identified the shooter as Scott Paul Beierle, 40, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

He killed himself at the scene on Friday.

 

A mass shooting at a Florida yoga studio left three dead including the gunman and wounded five others. The shooter has been identified. Picture: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images/AFP
A mass shooting at a Florida yoga studio left three dead including the gunman and wounded five others. The shooter has been identified. Picture: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images/AFP

 

The department also identified the two people who were killed as Dr Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21.

Dr Van Vessem was an internist who served as chief medical director for Capital Health Plan.

Florida State University President John Thrasher said both Dr Van Vessem and Ms Binkley had ties to the university.

"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," Mr Thrasher said in a statement.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, broke off the campaign trail to return to Tallahassee after the tragedy.

 

A person is transported from scene of a shooting, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at a yoga studio in Florida. Picture: Tori Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP
A person is transported from scene of a shooting, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at a yoga studio in Florida. Picture: Tori Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP

Mr Gillum spoke to reporters near the scene of the shooting and said that he had visited two other survivors in the hospital. He said they were in good spirits despite their injuries.

"We all feel a sense of added vulnerability" because of the shooting, the mayor said.

Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo told reporters on Friday night that Beierle shot six people and pistol-whipped one other person before fatally shooting himself.

Mr DeLeo said authorities are investigating possible motives. He declined to say what kind of gun Beierle had.

A city spokesman said the rampage appeared to be part of a domestic dispute. Witnesses described the shooter as a tall bearded man who was acting strange inside the studio before opening fire on the class.

Beierle acted alone, Mr DeLeo confirmed.

Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo says the gunman acted alone but had a history of battery and grabbing women on a university campus. Picture: AP Photo/Steve Cannon
Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo says the gunman acted alone but had a history of battery and grabbing women on a university campus. Picture: AP Photo/Steve Cannon

 

"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," DeLeo said.

He said that some in the studio showed courage and tried to stop him.

Witnesses who were at the shopping centre described how people who had been in the studio, including one who was bleeding, ran away, seeking shelter in nearby bars and restaurants as shots rang out.

Police responded within a few minutes, but by then Beierle had fatally shot himself, leaving police to search for a motive and a community to wonder what prompted the violence near the city's fashionable mid-town neighbourhoods.

Court records show that Beierle had been previously arrested for grabbing women. He was charged by police with battery in 2016 after he slapped and grabbed a woman's buttocks at an apartment complex pool.

Records show that the charges were eventually dismissed after Beierle followed the conditions of a deferred prosecution agreement.

Beierle was also charged with battery in 2012 for grabbing women's buttocks in a Florida State University campus dining hall. A university police report shows that Beierle told police he may have accidentally bumped into someone, but denied grabbing anyone.

- With Wires