Scott Beierle, a former English teacher and Army vet, was named as the mass shooter who killed two women at a Tallahassee, Florida hot yoga studio.
In today’s hyper-political climate, many people want to know when such things happen: What are the politics of the shooter? Was Scott Beierle a Republican or a Democrat or neither? The answer is, at least according to his Florida voter registration status, neither. However, he did belong to conservative Facebook groups. You can read more about Beierle’s bio here.
The deceased victims of the mass shooting were named as Maura Binkley, 21, and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61. Binkley was an English/German major at Florida State University and Van Vessem was a faculty member there who was an internal medicine specialist. In addition to the deceased women, four people were wounded from gunshots and 1 person was pistol whipped.
Here’s what you need to know:
Scott Beierle Is Listed as ‘No Party Affiliation’ But Belonged to a Republican Group on Facebook
According to the State of Florida’s voter registration database, Scott Beierle, with the same date of birth as the Tallahassee shooter, was listed as a voter with no party affiliation.
He had been registered to vote since 2012 and was listed as an active voter. You can see a screenshot of his voter registration above.
However, on Facebook, Beierle belonged to two groups: FSU College Republicans and We Are Conservatives. Another photo on his page shows him with a man with a flag hat. Both are wearing lanyards, but it’s not clear where they are at. The most recent visible post on Scott P. Beierle’s Facebook page dates back to 2012, though.
He had a YouTube channel on which he posted videos calling women vile names like sl*t and wh*re. He criticized women he knew in the past and criticized Barack Obama’s healthcare plan. He also had a Soundcloud account where he trashed women in violent lyrics.
Beierle Posed With a Cardboard Ronald Reagan on His Facebook Page
On Facebook, Beierle does not have any visible political posts save for one – he posed with a cardboard cutout of former Republican President Ronald Reagan. However, the post doesn’t make the circumstances clear. It doesn’t contain a caption. A single friend responded in the comment thread, writing, “Classic.”
Beierle was an Army veteran, according to his Facebook page, and it indicates he was stationed in Germany at one point.
He wrote with the above 2010 photo on Facebook, “Paladin Course, follow-up to FAOBC. Firing incident, as we were using shells from the 1960’s.” He posted several photos from Germany and in an Army uniform. One photo caption said he was at a torture museum.
On LinkedIn, Scott Paul Beierle described himself as: “Urban Planner/Public Administrator offering two and one half years of management and decision making experience in the United States Army. Researched, drafted, and published a Host Community Project for the Florida Division of Emergency Management as a capstone project. Managed the maintenance, dissemination, and accountability of military resources and equipment on behalf of a 500-employee organization.”
He wrote that he had been a “job seeker” since 2013 and previously worked as an English teacher and served in the U.S. Army.
FSU’s President Called the Mass Shooting ‘Devastating’
Dr. Van Vessem was a faculty member at Florida State, the Florida State University president confirmed. Maura Binkley was a student there.
FSU president John Thrasher said in a statement posted to Facebook: “There are no words to express the shock and grief we feel after learning of the deaths of Maura Binkley and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem. To lose one of our students and one of our faculty members in this tragic and violent way is just devastating to the Florida State University family. We feel this loss profoundly and we send our deepest sympathies to Maura’s and Nancy’s loved ones while we pray for the recovery of those who were injured.”
Van Vessem worked as an internal medicine specialist at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Her biography on the hospital’s website says that she was a 1983 graduate of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Medical School and had a 1984 internship at University of Utah Medical Center. She also had a B.S. in Chemistry, Pacific Lutheran University, Summa Cum Laude.
Two hospitals were listed for her residency: 1986, Loyola University Medical Center and 1985, University of Utah Medical Center.
She taught medicine at Florida State University College of Medicine. Her biography on that website reads, “Dr. Van Vessem is responsible for coordinating the third and fourth year clerkship rotations in Internal Medicine at the Tallahasseee Campus.” The bio adds, “Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer of Capital Health Plan Special interest in Chronic Disease Management and Wellness promotion.”
Under service, the university listed, “Tallahassee Wellness Council, Stepping Toward Health, Leadership team member for Pursuing Perfection 2-Acute Cornary Syndrome and Pursing Perfection 3 –improving communication between outpatient and inpatient setting for people with multiple chronic diseases (Robert Wood Foundation grant).”
Maura Binkley was a student at Florida State University, according to her Facebook page. Binkley was from Atlanta, Georgia and was a graduate of Dunwoody High School.
One woman wrote on Twitter that Maura was in a sorority at FSU. “How angry am I over yet another horrifying shooting? VERY! My daughter’s best friend is a sorority sister of 1 of the victims, 21 yr old Maura Binkley. The other fatality was an FSU professor, 61 yr old Nancy Van Vessem. The lunatic shooter had prior arrests for assaulting women,” she wrote.
Terry Nall, a Dunwoody city councilman wrote, “#Dunwoody grieves the tragic loss of Maura Binkley. She was full of life and in the @DunwoodyHS graduating class with my daughter. Our prayers are lifted up for her family.”
Tributes on social media described Maura Binkley’s warm personality.
Santina Deming wrote on Facebook, “The victims names have been released from the shooting in Tallahassee on Friday evening. One of the victims, Maura Binkley, was in one of my classes at FSU this semester. I had just talked to her on Thursday. She was very sweet and kind to everyone in class. She was an integral part of the class and lead the class discussion most days.”
What Police Say Happened
Tallahassee Police gave these details of how the shooting unfolded:
On November 2, 2018 at 5:37 p.m., the Tallahassee Police Department responded to ‘Hot Yoga,’ 1950 Thomasville Road reference to a shooting. “Upon arriving on scene officers found multiple people suffering from gunshots wounds. TPD and Emergency responders immediately provided medical attention to the victims, who were later transported to a local hospital with non-life threat(en)ing, and life threat(en)ing injuries. The shooter was found deceased on scene, suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
The shooter was named by Tallahassee police as Scott Paul Beierle DOB: 10/06/1978. You can read more about Scott Beierle here.
TPD’s Violent Crimes Unit “was called to the scene and have assumed the investigation. A total of seven victims have been identified: six gunshot victims, and one pistol whipped victim. Sadly, two of the gunshot victims have succumbed to their injuries. Two victims are in stable condition, and three have been released from a local hospital,” said police.
TPD has “interviewed over 40 witnesses, and summoned Victim Advocates to assist those dealing with this senseless act of violence,” said the police in a news release, adding, “The motive of this shooting is still unknown. Investigators are asking anyone with information about this case to please call them at (850) 891-4200 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS. This is currently an active investigation.”