On Friday, Nov. 2, a shooting occurred at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, leaving two dead and five injured. The gunman, Scott Beierle, would eventually take his own life before police could arrest him.
According to authorities, there is no apparent reason why Beierle carried out the attack. Local police searched his home and found Youtube posts from 2014 showing Beierle denouncing interracial marriage and slandering women who did not want to date him. A direct correlation to the shooting has still yet to be found.
Leading up to the shooting, Beierle had been accused of several cases involving sexual harassment and battery.
The first incident occurred in December 2012, when two women reported a man grabbing their butts in the Florida State University (FSU) dining hall. Beierle was identified and gave a statement.
“[I] may have accidentally bumped into several girls, but did not grab anyone,” said Beierle in his statement.
The two victims gave further information, accusing Beierle of grabbing their butts multiple times in the past, including one time grabbing the entire backside of one of the victims.
Beierle was charged with two cases of battery but the case would later be dropped.
Two years later, Beierle would be reported for following a volleyball coach to the locker room after practice. He originally told officials he was a lost FSU student but would later claim of being an alumnus looking for an on-campus job.
The thirty-five year old denied following anyone and no charges were made.
In 2016, Beierle was reported to cops for the third time, this time involving a woman at the pool of his apartment complex. The 19-year-old told police Beierle had sat next to her and told her she had a nice butt. He offered to put sunscreen on her but she repeatedly told him no. After grabbing her butt and shaking it with his hand, the girl immediately left the area.
Beierle was charged with battery but the case would eventually dismissed.
The next time Beierle chose to strike, it would be deadly. On Nov. 2, he openly shot at participants in a yoga class at Hot Yoga Tallahassee before committing suicide.
The victims, Maura Binkley, age 21, and Nancy Van Vessem, age 61, were honored in a vigil at FSU Sunday night. Among the crowd were not only students and faculty, but also friends, families and members of the Tallahassee community.
“This evening of [the vigil] is organized by many businesses and organizations around town. Its purpose is to give our community a transformative moment to process the terrible event,” said Ron Sachs, CEO of Sachs Media Group.
Other speakers during the event were those with ties to the victims and the local community. Among them were Maura Binkley’s father, Florida State University President John Thrasher, Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson and John Hogan, CEO of the company Nancy Van Vessem worked for.
“Our hearts are broken as we gather to mourn the loss of two members of our Florida State University family and offer prayers for those who were injured and affected by this horrific attack” said Thrasher to the crowd. “This hateful and despicable act has affected our community profoundly.”