Two people were killed after a gunman walked into a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, on Friday night and opened fire. But further deaths were averted when a man in the class ran at the shooter, who then took his own life.
Police identified those killed at Hot Yoga Tallahassee as 61-year-old Nancy Van Vessem and Maura Binkley, 21. Four others were shot, including one victim who was hit nine times, but survived, officials said. Another victim was pistol-whipped.
The suspect has been identified by police as Scott Paul Beierle, 40. It was not immediately clear why Beierle targeted the yoga studio, according to authorities.
The studio is located inside Belton Place shopping center. Witnesses at a bar downstairs were enjoying happy hour when suddenly a woman ran in, followed by a man bleeding profusely from his head, according to The Tallahassee Democrat. They were followed by more victims.
Kristin Jacobs, who represents Parkland in the state legislature, was at the bar when the bleeding man came in. She told the Democrat he said he'd rushed the gunman when he started shooting and the man shot himself.
“Many people are alive because this guy rushed the shooter,” Jacobs, who just nine months ago was dealing with the aftermath of 17 students and staff killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, said. "I am alive because one guy in a yoga class in his bare feet ran at a shooter.
"He didn’t run away."