A gunman opened fire at a Tallahassee, Florida, yoga studio, Friday night, killing two people before fatally shooting himself.
According to the Associated Press, Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo told reporters at a news briefing Friday night that the gunman, identified as 40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle, entered a hot yoga studio at a popular shopping center on Friday night, fatally shooting two victims and pistol-whipping another man who reportedly tried to intervene.
Police identified the deceased victims as Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21. The gunnan reportedly shot six people before taking his own life.
Melissa Hutchinson, a witness at a bar next to the yoga studio told the Associated Press that injured and bleeding victims came to the bar seeking help. She said that the man who was pistol-whipped was bleeding “profusely,” and that the victims said the shooter left and re-entered the studio repeatedly. The shooter reportedly re-loaded his gun while outside the studio, prompting witnesses to pound on the studio windows to warn people inside.
“It was a shocking moment something happened like this,” Hutchinson told the Associated Press.
Dr. Van Vessem was reportedly the chief medical director for Capital Health Plan, and an internist.
Capital Health Plan reportedly released a statement in response to the tragedy.
“As CHP’s longtime chief medical director, Nancy has been a guiding, visionary force in our daily work to serve the wellness and health care needs of thousands of families in this community. Her dedication, caring, leadership, humanity, and experience made her one of the most respected, inspiring, and accomplished medical professionals in the state and country. Our hearts are filled with sorrow and prayers for her family. We all have been so blessed to have Nancy in our lives.”
Court documents obtained by WCTV show that Beierle had two prior arrests for domestic battery, reportedly for inappropriately touching women. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the incidents took place at a public swimming pool and on the Florida State University campus.
Court records show Scott Paul Beierle had a history of arrests for grabbing women on the FSU campus and at a public swimming pool, according to Leon County court records.https://t.co/kCegYdbDuK
— Tallahassee Democrat (@TDOnline) November 3, 2018
Tallahassee police are continuing to investigate. Chief DeLeo reportedly asked anyone who saw something unusual near the yoga studio on Friday night to contact authorities.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
[Feature image: Scott Paul Beierle, Leon County Sheriff’s Office]