Florida yoga gunman who killed two posted racist and misogynistic videos

Videos appearing to feature Scott Paul Beierle include complaints about how black people dress and speak, and a rant about women

The man who shot and killed two women in a yoga studio in Tallahassee on Friday appears to have posted racist and misogynistic videos online.

Police said Scott Paul Beierle, 40, attended the studio as a customer before opening fire. He also shot and wounded four people before he was tackled by people in the studio, police said. He then shot and killed himself. Police said the studio appeared to have been picked as a target at random.

On Sunday, yoga instructor Joshua Quick told ABC he grabbed Beierle’s gun after it jammed and hit him. Beierle regained control of the gun and hit him with it, he said.

“I jumped up as quickly as I could,” said Quick, who had visible facial injuries. “I ran back over and the next thing I know I’m grabbing a broom, the only thing I can, and I hit him again.”

“Thanks to him I was able to rush out the door,” a class member, Daniela Garcia Albalat, told the same network. “He saved my life.”

Katie Bohnett, an instructor at the studio who skipped Friday practice to meet a friend for dinner, told the Associated Press: “It’s a place that brings me joy and peace, and I think it’s ruined. This monster ruined it.”

The women who were killed were Maura Binkley and Dr Nancy Van Vessem. Both were connected to Florida State University, which is based in the city.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Binkley, 21, was due to graduate in May and was studying German and editing, writing and media. Her father told the newspaper she was hoping to get a job with Teach for America.

Dr Van Vessem, 61, was an FSU faculty member and chief medical director at Capital Health Plan, which said she was a “guiding, visionary force” whose “dedication, caring, leadership, humanity and experience made her one of the most respected, inspiring, and accomplished medical professionals in the state and country”.

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In a statement, FSU president John 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.”

BuzzFeed first reported the existence of the videos, which were posted to YouTube in 2014. Biographical details mentioned appeared to match known facts about the Tallahassee gunman, including that he was a military veteran. Police did not immediately confirm the link.

The videos contained complaints about how black people dress and speak and said women who date black men were “whores”. One video contained a rant about how women had caused the author to be misogynist. Another lamented an “invasion” of the US by migrants from Central America.

In one video, the man believed to be Beierle likened his adolescent self to Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old British-born man who stabbed or shot to death six people and wounded more than a dozen in Isla Vista, California, in 2014, before killing himself.

Rodger was a self-identified “incel”, short for “involuntary celibate”, an online culture in which men blame their lack of sexual success with women on women themselves.

Beierle was an FSU graduate but was living in Deltona, east of Orlando. Public records showed he was twice charged with grabbing women’s buttocks but the cases were dropped. In 2014, after a similar incident, he was banned from the FSU campus.


Martin Pengelly and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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