A mass shooting Friday at an upstairs hot yoga studio in Tallahassee by a suicidal man left three dead, four critically injured, many traumatized and many more thankful for the brave actions of one brave Good Samaritan whose actions helped prevent additional deaths.
“We heard pop, pop, pop. It sounded intense,” Florida woman Megan Nixon, who had been eating dinner at a restaurant underneath the yoga studio, said afterward to the Tallahassee Democrat, describing the series of events that had begun to transpire around roughly 5:30 pm early Friday evening.
She added that about 30 seconds later, she witnessed several women and a bloodied man from the yoga studio upstairs running into the Bar at Betton restaurant next door, where it just so happened that Florida state Sen. Kristin Jacobs had been attending an office party.
“[A] girl ran into the bar,” Jacobs recounted. “She could hardly talk. She was hyperventilating. I heard her say shooter. Two other women came in, and I kept hearing the word ‘shooter.'”
Information about the shooting at Hot Yoga on Thomasville Road:
TPD Investigates Shooting on Thomasville Road
A man in a bloodied white t-shirt arrived next and told the bar patrons that a tall man with a beard had been acting strange inside the hot yoga studio before suddenly opening fire. When the bloodied man tried to rush the shooter to stop him, the shooter pistol-whipped him before committing suicide.
“Many people are alive because this guy rushed the shooter. I am alive because one guy in a yoga class in his bare feet ran at a shooter. He didn’t run away,” Jacobs said.
When authorities arrived, they found three deceased, including the shooter, Florida university faculty member Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and FSU student Maura Binkley, 21.
“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,” FSU President John Thrasher said in a statement. “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.”
More information about the shooter and his victims may be heard in the press conference held early Saturday morning by the Tallahassee Police Department seen below:
As of Saturday morning the motivation for the shooting remained unknown, though some outlets had identified as the shooter as Scott Beierle, a 40-year-old U.S. Army veteran and former high school English teacher.
Also notable was the different responses the shooting provoked from both Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the two men who hope to succeed him after his term expires at the end of the year.
Whereas Scott responded to the shooting by pledging “state assistance” to investigators, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis responded by offering his prayers, while Democrat nominee and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum responded by sharing his disdain for gun violence.
I have been briefed by FDLE and local law enforcement regarding the shooting in Tallahassee. FDLE is on the scene and assisting local police. I will remain in constant communication with law enforcement. We have offered state assistance.
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) November 2, 2018
The news of the shooting in Tallahassee is heartbreaking. Casey and I are praying for the families of the victim whose life was tragically taken tonight and those taken to the hospital with injuries.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) November 3, 2018
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. I’m in close communication with law enforcement officials and will be returning to Tallahassee tonight.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 2, 2018
Some were quick to note that despite Gillum’s promotion of draconian gun-control policies, the crime in Tallahassee seemed to be growing worse and worse. His attacks on the police haven’t helped either:
Just think Gillum could bring this crime destroyed city to all of Florida… Vote Ron DeSantis November 6 Keep America and Florida safe! #MAGA
— Ryan Cale (@rcale1776) November 3, 2018
@AndrewGillum mayor of Tallahassee has presided over the biggest increase in crime the city has ever had.
— M. J. H. (@P5Guy) November 3, 2018
— Johnny Galt (@GaltJohnny) November 3, 2018
I am not shining problem on Gillum. This shooting was in Tallahassee. He happens to be the Mayor. These are the true facts and it’s nothing to do with his running for Gov.
Other than blaming guns, and Republicans, what is Gillum’s plan going forward for solving rampaging crime?
— Kathy Podgers (@kathypodgers) November 3, 2018
— Joanne_Lopez_Dow (@dow_lopez) November 3, 2018
Nice. Mayor of a crime ridden city & a thief. Great candidate.
— Reagan Rules (@ReaganRules2) November 3, 2018
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