TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A man shot and killed two people and wounded at least four others before killing himself Friday evening at a yoga studio in Florida, authorities said.
The incident occurred at Hot Yoga Tallahassee, located within an upscale shopping enclave, where the suspect walked into a yoga studio and started shooting.
The suspect, identified as 40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle, fatally shot himself, said Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo.
The agency identified the two people killed as Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21.
The conditions of the other victims were unclear.
There were 11 people signed up for the 5:30 p.m. class at Hot Yoga Tallahassee, located on the second floor of the Betton Place shopping complex. One person canceled earlier in the day, a source said. The class instructor is said to have been uninjured.
Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox was among officials who went to the scene of the shooting.
"In my public service career, I have had to be on some bad scenes. This is the worst. Please pray," Maddox posted on Facebook.
Alex Redding was in the Bar at Betton downstairs from the Hot Yoga studio when a hyperventilating woman ran in, followed by a man with blood on his head. Redding said two to three other people entered the bar seeking assistance and said that a tall man with a beard was inside the studio acting strange and began shooting during the class.
The man with blood on his head told the bar patrons he tried to stop the shooter but was pistol-whipped before the shooter then shot himself.
Van Vessem was internist who served as chief medical director for healthcare provider Capital Health Plan.
"Our Capital Health Plan family is deeply shocked and saddened about the tragic loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, among the other victims of this terrible incident,” CHP said in a statement.
Both Binkley and Van Vessem had ties to Florida State University, which is located in Tallahassee. FSU President John Thrasher issued a statement expressing bereavement over their losses.
"There are no words to express the shock and grief we feel after learning of the deaths of Maura Binkley and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem," 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. 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.”
The shooting interrupted the gubernatorial campaign of Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum, who tweeted he was "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 wrote. "I'm in close communication with law enforcement officials and will be returning to Tallahassee tonight."