Tallahassee shooting

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Tallahassee shooting
Tallahassee shooting is located in Florida
Tallahassee shooting
Tallahassee shooting (Florida)
LocationHot Yoga Tallahassee
1950 Thomasville Rd
Tallahassee, Florida, United States
Coordinates30°28′02″N 84°16′08″W / 30.4672°N 84.2690°W / 30.4672; -84.2690Coordinates: 30°28′02″N 84°16′08″W / 30.4672°N 84.2690°W / 30.4672; -84.2690
DateNovember 2, 2018
5:37 p.m. (UTC−04:00)
Attack type
WeaponsGlock 9mm handgun
Deaths3 (including perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
PerpetratorScott Paul Beierle
MotiveIncel ideology, misogyny

The Tallahassee shooting took place at the Tallahassee, Florida, yoga studio Tallahassee Hot Yoga on November 2, 2018. The gunman shot six women, two fatally, and pistol-whipped a man before killing himself.[1][2]


Scott Paul Beierle entered the hot yoga studio at 5:37 p.m. EDT on November 2, 2018, shooting six people, resulting in the deaths of two women, Maura Binkley, 21, and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61.[1] Officers responded to reports of gunfire within three and a half minutes, at which point the perpetrator was found deceased.[3] Partygoers in a bar across the street told reporters how they witnessed people fleeing from the studio and that a man in a bloody white T-shirt who ran into the bar claimed to have charged the shooter only to be pistol whipped.[4] This claim was later backed up in interviews with survivors who stated that the male customer used a vacuum cleaner and then a broomstick to attack Beierle, which gave other students time to escape. Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo also credited the students who "fought back and tried not only to save themselves but other people".[5]

The yoga studio was a part of a plaza that is occupied by restaurants and other businesses. Those eating at the restaurant underneath the studio heard the gunshots and told reporters that the owner came through the dining area shortly after, asking if anyone was a doctor.[6]


When officers arrived, it was discovered that six people had been shot during the attack. Two of the victims, Maura Binkley and Nancy Van Vessem, were deceased at the scene.[7]

Maura Binkley, age 21, was a student at Florida State University, and due to graduate in 2019.[8] She was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997. She attended Austin Elementary, Peachtree Middle School and graduated from Dunwoody High School in 2015. In high school, she was co-editor of the school yearbook and a member of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad. She was fluent in German, participated as a German Exchange student, studied in Nuremberg and welcomed German students into her home. She was a former Girl Scout and member of St. James United Methodist Church. Maura received an academic scholarship at Florida State University, where she was a fourth-generation legacy. She was a senior with a double major in German and Editing, Writing and Media. Maura was a member of the Alpha Eta Chapter of Delta Delta Delta where she served in numerous leadership roles and was currently serving as the Vice President of Chapter Development. This past spring, she received the Winthrop King Scholarship from the Department of Modern Languages at FSU, which enabled her to study for four months at the University of Wuppertal in Germany and travel throughout Europe. At the time of her death, she was participating in ongoing interviews for a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship or to work for Teach for America. [9]

Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, age 61, was a doctor and the chief medical director for Capital Health Plan. She was also a faculty member at Florida State. Van Vessem earned her medical degree from St. Louis University; her research focus was "restructuring health care for people with multiple chronic diseases".[10]


Scott Paul Beierle (October 6, 1978 – November 2, 2018) was later revealed as the perpetrator by police. According to his social media profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn, Beierle was a military veteran and former teacher for the Anne Arundel County Public School System in Maryland, teaching both English and social studies at Meade High School and being affiliated with conservative groups FSU College Republicans and We Are Conservatives.[11][12][13] Additionally, Beierle has also taught at numerous other schools as a substitute teacher, yet only briefly due to performance issues and inappropriate behavior. In one instance, Beierle was fired for an incident where he reportedly asked a female student if she was "ticklish", while touching her "below the bra line" on her stomach.[14] He had been charged twice for battery, in 2012 and 2016, where he was accused of grabbing a woman's buttocks in both situations.[15]

YouTube videos posted by Beierle in 2014 showed that he identified with the involuntary celibate community while often complaining about his sexual rejections from women.[16] He also sympathized with the shooter behind the 2014 Isla Vista killings, Elliot Rodger, as he too felt lonely and unloved as well as posting misogynistic songs on SoundCloud. Other videos had Beriele's far-right extremist views depicted him ranting about African-Americans, illegal immigration and interracial relationships.[17][18][19] One of the videos was named "Dangers of Diversity".[20]

The FBI and the Tallahassee Police Department reported about Beierle's hatred of women and that he was "disturbed" during the shooting in addition he also had planned the attack months in advance.[21]


Florida State University held a vigil for the victims of the shooting on November 4, while another series of tributes were planned for November 5 with the help of Tallahassee's Delta Delta Delta sorority chapter.[22] Other tributes were published by the deceased's families and friends through social media.[23] On November 11, a candlelit vigil was held at Cascades Park. The day after the shooting, a yoga instructor of Hot Yoga Tallahassee led a yoga class for healing in the middle of Adams Street.[24][25]


  1. ^ a b Kesbeh, Dina (November 3, 2018). "Gunman Kills 2, Wounds 5 Others At Florida Yoga Studio". NPR.org. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  2. ^ "Gunman kills two, wounds five at yoga studio in Florida". The Hindu. November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Florida yoga studio shooting: Two killed and four injured". BBC News. November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Zwirz, Elizabeth (November 2, 2018). "Florida yoga studio shooting leaves 3 dead, including suspect: reports". Fox News. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^ Mosbergen, Dominique (November 5, 2018). "Yoga Studio Shooting Hero Attacked Gunman With A Vacuum Cleaner And Broomstick". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "Gunman in Tallahassee yoga studio slayings is from Deltona, police say". WESH. November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  7. ^ Andone, Dakin; Yan, Holly. "These are the victims of the Florida yoga studio shooting". CNN. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  8. ^ White, Ashley. "Maura Binkley, victim in Florida yoga studio shooting, 'just wanted to help other people'". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  9. ^ "Maura Binkley". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  10. ^ White, Ashley. "Florida yoga studio shooting victim Dr. Nancy Van Vessem worked to make community better". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  11. ^ Farrell, Paul (November 3, 2018). "Scott Beierle: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.
  12. ^ Ortiz, Jennifer (November 3, 2018). "Florida yoga studio shooter was former teacher in Anne Arundel Co. | WTOP". WTOP. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  13. ^ D'Angelo, Bob (November 3, 2018). "Who was Scott Beierle, the shooter at the Tallahassee yoga shop?". springfieldnewssun. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  14. ^ Sheets, Tess. "Tallahassee yoga gunman lost teacher job after touching student, asking if she was 'ticklish'". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Press, The Associated (November 3, 2018). "Yoga studio shooter had previous arrests for grabbing women". KOMO. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Zaveri, Mihir; Jacobs, Julia (November 3, 2018). "Gunman in Yoga Studio Shooting Recorded Misogynistic Videos and Faced Battery Charges". New York Times. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "The Tallahassee Yoga Shooter Was A Far-Right Misogynist Who Railed Against Women and Minorities Online". Buzzfeed News. November 3, 2018.
  18. ^ Yoga shooter appeared to have made misogynistic videos Associated Press via Yahoo! News, November 3, 2018
  19. ^ Yoga studio gunman had history of arrests, posted misogynistic rants online CBS News, November 3, 2018
  20. ^ "Gunman in Florida yoga studio shooting made misogynistic comments on YouTube, NYT reports". CNN. November 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "Tallahassee yoga studio shooting: TPD report reveals gunman planned 'horrific event' for months". February 12, 2019.
  22. ^ News, WCTV Eyewitness. "Vigil held at Florida State to honor lives lost in yoga studio shooting". Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  23. ^ CNN, Nicole Chavez, Eliott C. McLaughlin and Susannah Cullinane,. "Florida yoga studio shooter was arrested for groping women and trespassing on FSU campus". CNN. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  24. ^ Hassanein, Nada (November 9, 2018). "'Hope, Healing, Harmony': Vigil for yoga studio shooting victims set for Sunday at Cascades". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  25. ^ Ceballos, Ana (November 3, 2018). "'Today we hug': Yoga community comes together after deadly Tallahassee shooting at studio". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved November 12, 2018.