A gunman opened fire inside a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, on Friday, killing two women and wounding five others before killing himself, authorities said. Local police identified the shooter as Scott Paul Beierle, 40.
A total of seven victims were taken to a local hospital. Six suffered from gunshot wounds and one was pistol-whipped. Two of the victims died, while another two are in stable condition. Three have been released from the hospital.
The deceased victims were identified as Maura Binkley, 21, and Nancy Van Vessem, 61. Florida State University President John Thrasher said Binkley was a student at the college and Vessem a faculty member.
“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,” Thrasher said. “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.”
Police believe the gunman acted alone. Police Chief Michael DeLeo said there is no threat to the community. “There is no immediate threat outside what has already occurred this evening,” DeLeo said. The motive is still unknown.
“I’ve seen a lot of bad scenes and seen some bad things — this is the worst,” City Commissioner Scott Maddox told reporters Friday evening.
Melissa Hutchinson is a bartender across the street from the studio. She administered first aid as bloodied victims rushed inside the bar to take cover. “I had two people that I was helping, they were very emotional,” Hutchinson said. “They just saw people get shot. It was a shocking moment.”
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, said he’s stepping away from the campaign trail and returning to the city.
“I’m deeply appreciative of law enforcement’s quick response to the shooting at the yoga facility in Tallahassee today. No act of gun violence is acceptable,” he tweeted. “I’m in close communication with law enforcement officials and will be returning to Tallahassee tonight.”
Caroline Linton contributed to this report.
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