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Businesses reflect on life since Hot Yoga Tallahassee shooting

Posted at 6:17 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 22:04:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Almost a year ago, a man walked into Hot Yoga Tallahassee and started shooting, killing two and injuring five others.

Since then, the businesses in Betton Place have focused on securing the plaza, in case danger comes again.

Since that deadly shooting last November, every business owner in the Betton Plaza has made changes to make it a safer place. As we look back nearly one year later, many are also reflecting on what happened that night.

"It's just the scariest thing I've probably every been through," said Monique Wood, Haute Headz Owner.

November 2, a day they will never forget. Shots fired inside the Hot Yoga Tallahassee studio killing two people.

"It was a ghost town a few days after. It was very scary and no one knew what to do afterwards," said Wood.

Ron Sachs represents Betton Place Plaza. He says shop owners used that time to think about their own safety.

"Everyone has been trained and retrained to be more sensitive and on the look out for sketchy behavior by people who look like they don't belong some place," said Sachs.

With some businesses even adding building upgrades.

"Secured our side door, we have extra cameras and lighting," said Wood.

Florida State University student Maura Binkley was one of the victims. Her family is now suing Hot Yoga Tallahassee and Betton Place.

They say the plaza wasn't secure enough to protect their daughter.

"I think that nothing can bring the people back who were killed in that horrible tragedy and the people who were injured. This is something that will scar them and everyone connected to Betton Place," said Sachs.

The 12 page lawsuit cites 21 claims of negligence, including prior knowledge of criminal activity. Yet, Betton Place claims that shooting was the first violent crime in the plaza.

"I don't think anybody expects that this tragedy should involve a lawsuit when Betton Place was a victim of this shooter just as the people who were killed or injured," said Sachs.

Despite the lawsuit, Wood is focusing on the good and how the community was able to come together.

"I couldn't believe the outpouring and the flowers, the phone calls to make sure we were fine," said Wood. "People coming in to get blow drys or anything just to make sure we would be able to continue on."

A memorial for the victims will be held at Betton Place on Saturday.