Class members tackled gunman who killed two women


A gunman who shot dead two women at a yoga studio in Florida was tackled by class members before killing himself, police have said.

Scott Paul Beierle, 40, shot six people in what state officials called an “evil”, “senseless” attack at the Hot Yoga studio in Tallahassee on Friday evening.

Other class members then fought back and Beierle pistol-whipped one man before turning the gun on himself.

Tallahassee Police officers outside the Hot Yoga Studio
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Tallahassee Police officers outside the Hot Yoga Studio

Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo told reporters “there were indications that several people not only fought back but tried to save other people”.

Scott Paul Beierle, 40, has been identified as the gunam by police. Pic: Facebook
Image:
Scott Paul Beierle, 40, has been identified as the gunman by police. Pic: Facebook

Two of the wounded were in stable condition and three were released from a local hospital, while Beierle died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

The two women who were killed were named as Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21, who both had ties to Florida State University (FSU).

FSU president John Thrasher said: “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.

Scott Paul Beierle pictured in Germany. Pic: Facebook
Image:
Scott Paul Beierle pictured in Germany. Pic: Facebook

Mr DeLeo said the gunman acted alone but did not identify the weapon used.

“All evidence points to a single actor who has stayed on scene and is deceased at this time so there is no additional threat to the public,” he said.

Matthew Rodin, left and Susan Turner comfort Melissa Hutchinson who helped some of the victims of the shooting
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Matthew Rodin and Susan Turner comfort Melissa Hutchinson who helped some of the victims

Melissa Hutchinson, who was in a bar near the Hot Yoga studio, which is part of a small shopping centre, said she helped three injured people who ran in, including the man who had been pistol-whipped and was “bleeding profusely”.

Alex Redding, who was in a downstairs bar, said people came in barefoot looking for help after a man who had been acting strangely began shooting during the class, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Some were clearly in shock and could only utter the word “shooter,” the newspaper added.

Erskin Wesson, 64, said he was eating dinner with his family at a restaurant below Hot Yoga when they heard the gunshots.

“We just heard ‘pow, pow, pow, pow’,” he said.

Emergency services workers outside the HotYoga Studio where a gunman shot two people and injured five others
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Emergency services workers outside the Hot Yoga Studio

Other witnesses reported seeing at least three people loaded into ambulances and five different ambulances picking people up.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox called the shooting a “senseless act of evil” and the “worst” scene he had been on in his public service career.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum visited two people who were shot in hospital and told reporters they were in good spirits.

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