TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Tallahassee business owners are reacting to accusations that a yoga studio and property owner didn't do enough to prevent a deadly shooting last November.
A recent lawsuit claims that Hot Yoga Tallahassee and Betton Place should have warned customers about crime in the area.
Store owners we spoke to all agree that the November shooting at Hot Yoga Tallahassee was a horrific crime, and it was a crime that was completely unexpected, especially for the Betton Place Plaza.
For business owners at Betton Place in Tallahassee, safety has never been much of a concern.
"Occasionally you may see a homeless person here, but they don't stay," said Kevin Stout, Owner/Chef of Food Glorious Food. "TPD is here a lot. They do a good job with the patrolling and everything. I haven't seen any crime problems."
Until November 2, 2018, the night a man fired shots inside the hot yoga studio Tallahassee killing 2 people. Maura Binkley was one of the victims.
In a lawsuit recently filed by her parents Margaret and Jeffrey Binkley, they claim there was a known crime problem at Betton Place. One that the property owner and studio should have warned people about.
"This is a shopping plaza that is the home for many small businesses locally. It is a marketplace for local people with all sorts of diverse business and commerce conducted there," said Ron Sachs, Spokesman for Betton Plaza Partners. "They're not responsible for this tragedy. They were victimized too."
The City of Tallahassee tracks crime reports online with the Tallahassee Online Police Statistics site. From June 2018 to June 2019, police responded to 47 calls of suspicious people or activities within a quarter mile of Betton Place.
"There's not much you can do," said Stout. "You can't put armed guards at the entrance of every business or something like that. So, what do you do?"
Something important to note about the TOPS site is that it does not track shootings.
We reached out to the owner of Hot Yoga Tallahassee about the lawsuit, but have not heard back.