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Secret Service study of yoga class shooting shows misogyny

Hot Yoga Shooting 1
Hot Yoga Tallahassee
Posted at 9:36 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 21:13:36-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Secret Service case study finds that a man who fatally shot two women at a Tallahassee yoga class in 2018 had a well-documented history of disturbing behavior toward women. The Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center study was released Tuesday.

The study is an effort to examine how contempt for women can radicalize men and spark violent and deadly behavior. The research is aimed at helping to train law enforcement, school and community officials to better identify potential attackers and stop them before they strike. The chief of the National Threat Assessment Center says “early intervention is key” and preventing targeted violence requires "a whole of community approach.”

The deadly shooting took place Nov. 2, 2018, when 40-year-old Scott Beierle shot multiple people inside Hot Yoga Tallahassee on Thomasville Road.

Maura Binkley, a 21-year-old FSU student, and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, a 61-year-old faculty member with the College of Medicine, passed away from injuries sustained in the shooting.

Four other people were injured in the act of violence. The gunman, identified as Beierle, killed himself inside the studio that day.

The Tallahassee Police Department later found that the gunman had planned the attack for months.

"Based on the investigative work, Scott Beierle was a disturbed individual who harbored hatred toward women,"then TPD Chief Michael DeLeo stated in a 2019 press conference. "Though there was no specific target at the yoga studio on the night of Nov. 2, 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 toward women."

The case study released by the United States Secret Service Tuesday echoed these same points.

In the introduction, the Secret Service states that Beierle engaged in numerous instances of inappropriate and criminal behavior directed toward women and girls for decades.

"These behaviors resulted in him losing several jobs, being barred from public locations, and having multiple contacts with law enforcement, some of which resulted in arrest," the report stated.

The case study goes on to detail various points in Beierle's life and points out behavioral threat assessment themes.

In the conclusion of the study, the Secret Service listed the following as Beierle's concerning behaviors:

  • Self-described misogynist, aggrieved by his inability to obtain a relationship or sex with women
  • Openly admired Hitler and Aryan Nations; other members of online social networks referred to him as a Nazi
  • School district personnel recommended he not be hired for a teaching position due to concerning behavior during the application process
  • Multiple school firings related to inappropriate behavior with female students
  • Three arrests connected to incidents of groping women in public and trespassing on FSU campus after warning when seen following female coach
  • Served a lease termination by apartment complex after assaulting a woman at the swimming pool
  • Additional law enforcement contacts for destruction of property, following women on campus, and inappropriate contact with students while teaching
  • Friend's wife reported violent and misogynistic writings to law enforcement
  • Court-ordered mental health treatment on at least four occasions due to behavior with women and mania
  • Banned from local bars for behavior toward women
  • Parents slept with their door locked, removed him from his niece's birthday party for touching young girls, and had his brother remove a firearm that he kept
  • Brother suspect him of being a serial sniper in DC
  • Roommates compared him to Ted Bundy

The full case study can be found below:

NTAC Case Study - Hot Yoga Tallahassee by WTXL ABC27 on Scribd