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Gunman in Tallahassee yoga studio shooting was reported for harassing young women, police say

Yoga studio shooting: Victims, gunman ID'd
Posted at 11:28 AM, Nov 03, 2018

The man who police said killed two people at a Tallahassee, Florida yoga studio was accused of harassing young women in the area and reportedly made misogynistic remarks on YouTube videos but authorities say it's not clear why he carried out the attack.

Scott Paul Beierle, 40, posed as a customer when he walked into Hot Yoga Tallahassee on Friday evening and fired a handgun without warning, police said.

The yoga students fought back, police said, but two women were killed and five people were wounded. The gunman had turned the gun on himself by the time officers arrived, Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo said.


Investigators have not discovered any links so far between the gunman and the victims or the yoga studio, DeLeo said. On Saturday, police searched Beierle's home in Deltona as well as his electronic devices in hopes of finding any clues about a possible motive.

Beierle, who was staying at a local hotel prior to the shooting, was visiting the city but he was not a complete stranger to Florida's capital. He graduated from Florida State University and police said he had been "the subject of prior calls for service in the Tallahassee area related to harassment of young women."

Police did not release more details about the calls involving Beierle.

In videos posted to YouTube in 2014, the man appeared resentful toward women who wouldn't date him and made derogatory remarks about interracial relationships, according to a report from The New York Times.

He identified with "involuntary celibates," otherwise known as "incels."

CNN has seen the videos The New York Times reported on, but has not independently verified that the man in the videos is the gunman identified by police.

The videos were first reported by BuzzFeed News.


Gunman made misogynistic rants, reports say


In the videos, Beierle recounted a string of instances in which he was personally rejected by women, according to The Times.

"Made one date, didn't show up," he said of one woman, the newspaper said. "Made another date, didn't show up. Kept making excuses. Ah, I could've ripped her head off."

"I don't think a female can ever understand the societal pressure that's put on an adolescent male to unburden himself of this stigma that society's put on him," he said. "This virginity burden."

The videos had names like "Plight of the Adolescent Male" and "Dangers of Diversity."

According to The New York Times, Beierle was sympathetic towardElliot Rodger, who killed six people and wounded 14 others in 2014 near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rodger had written a manifesto in which he lamented his virginity, which he blamed on the "cruelness of women."

Beierle said that as an adolescent he could relate to "this endless wasteland that breeds this longing and this frustration," the newspaper reported.


Doctor 'touched countless lives'


Tallahassee yogis as well as the healthcare and college communities are mourning the two women who were killed in Friday's shooting: Maura Binkley, 21, and Nancy Van Vessem, 61.

Binkley was a brave and kind college student who was known for her compassion.

"Maura truly lived a life really devoted to peace, love and caring for others," her father, Jeff Binkley told CNN affiliate WSB.

She grew up in the Atlanta metro area and was attending Florida State University, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.

After spending the summer studying in Germany, Binkley was back in town for what could have been her last year in school. She planned to graduate in May with a double major in English and German, according to her family and the school's website.

Van Vessem was a veteran physician who "touched countless lives."

She was a faculty member at Florida State and was the chief medical director for Florida's Capital Health Plan, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.

She was in charge of coordinating third and fourth year clerkship rotations in internal medicine at the school's medical school, according to the Florida State College of Medicine's website.

In a tribute shared on Facebook, Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee described her as "a friend and a champion for end-of-life care."

"Although this shooting happened off campus, it has deeply touched the Florida State University family with two deaths and several injuries. To lose a faculty member and a student and have others injured in this senseless and violent way is absolutely devastating," Florida State President John Thrasher said in a statement Saturday.

The school will hold a campuswide vigil Sunday for Van Vessem and Binkley at 5 p.m on Langford Green.

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