The man who is accused of killing two people and wounding five others in a November shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, was fueled by a “lifetime of misogynistic attitudes,” police say.
After a three-month investigation into Scott Beierle, 40, Tallahassee police revealed in a Tuesday press conference that Beierle’s hatred of women was what drove him to open fire at Hot Yoga Tallahassee. Beierle shot and killed Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21, and later fatally shot himself at the scene before police could arrest him.
“Based on the investigative work, Scott Beierle was a disturbed individual who harbored hatred towards women,” Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said during the press conference.
“Although there was no specific target at the yoga studio on the night of Nov. 2,” DeLeo continued, “Scott Beierle’s lifetime of misogynistic attitudes caused him to attack a familiar community where he had been arrested several times for his previous violent actions towards women.”
It was previously reported that Beierle had a history of violence against women including an arrest in 2016 for groping women from behind and a similar arrest and battery charge in 2012. Beierle was also banned from Florida State University’s campus over groping allegations.
DeLeo confirmed these prior arrests and said that Beierle was discharged from the army due to similarly inappropriate behavior towards women. DeLeo added that Beierle’s journals, records and other electronic files contained yoga-related porn and materials with “themes of rape, torture and murder.”
“He expressed hatred towards women in general,” DeLeo said.
A wife of Beierle’s friend submitted a tip to the FBI in August 2018, two months prior to the shooting, about his threatening behavior. The FBI later determined the tip to be “not actionable.”
Beierle is believed to be a part of a misogynistic online community of men described as “incels,” or involuntary celibates, who have a history of violence against women.