Police: Hot Yoga shooting gunman planned attack for months

Published: Feb. 13, 2019 at 12:28 AM EST
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By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News

February 13, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Documents released by the Tallahassee Police Department Tuesday outline an attack that was planned for months. It also outlines Scott Beierle's inappropriate conduct against women.

Although Beierle once lived in Tallahassee, authorities say they haven't found any connection between him and any of the people who were inside Hot Yoga Tallahassee when he opened fire on November 2, 2018.

However, investigators did find online messages between him and a woman who mentioned Hot Yoga several times.

Police documents say Beierle used Facebook Messenger to communicate with a woman, named Jennifer, starting April 2013. They say the two met on the social media app, Meetup.

The messages show Jennifer repeatedly declined Beierle's invitations to go places with him, including to a shooting range.

The documents say she first mentioned going to a yoga class in Tallahassee on April 17, and referenced yoga four times during communications with Beierle. Authorities have now confirmed Jennifer was a student at Hot Yoga Tallahassee in 2013 and 2014.

"Scott Beierle's lifetime of misogynistic attitudes caused him to attack a familiar community," Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said.

In Beierle's journal, investigators say he wrote, "Jen's the worst. She snuffs me, whenever I try to engage her, she answers as quick as she can, then turns away. I'd like to put it to her."

Beierle also wrote, "Feel the urge, fight the urge, can't understand my brutality reality."

Investigators found many video files Beierle recorded. In them, he speaks about repeatedly hitting a brick wall, identifying females as the brick wall.

He said he went on 14 first dates in a two-month period and blamed the "girls" because they were not "decent".

"I don't want to hear how great your life is or the action that you're getting," Beierle said in one of his YouTube videos.

In one video, Beierle refers to himself as "carnifex," which means executioner.

He called the video his last will and testament, and says, "You bring this on yourselves."

"I don't think a female could ever understand the societal pressure that's put on an adolescent male," he said in one of his videos.

Beierle checked into Suburban Extended Stay in Tallahassee the night before the shooting.

Investigators say he'd left two notes in his room, that said: “If I can’t find one decent female to live with, I will find many indecent females to die with. If they are intent on denying me life, I will have no choice but to deny them life. At least I will no longer have to live under the reign of a monkey. America deserves a thousand 9/11's for this outrage.”

“Their arrogance, indifference and treachery will finally be exposed and punished. If I can’t make a living, I will make a killing. I will be successful with females: If I can’t be successful at being positive, I will be successful at being negative. This is in their court, however. This is not what I wanted. No kid sits in their room at night dreaming of this. It has come to this though, and I simply have no choice at this point. It is a moral imperative,” the letter continued.

The documents reveal Beierle's sister-in-law called authorities the week after the shooting. She told them she thought he was the D.C. Sniper back in 2002, and said because of the things he wrote, his parents slept with their door locked.

By: Alicia Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News

February 13, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – It's been more than three months since the deadly shooting at Hot Yoga Tallahassee.

"It’s just really sad and shocking to hear that," said Tallahassee resident Balli Logan.

Balli’s reaction came just hours after the Tallahassee Police Department released more insight into its investigation into the shooting. The documents released Tuesday detail a timeline of gunman Scott Beierle's life dating back more than a decade. Authorities combed through more than a thousand pages of journals, records, electronic files and Google searches made by Beierle.

"I just can't believe that someone would have the heart to be able to go in and just open fire against people he doesn't know," Balli expressed.

According to the documents, Beierle first google searched “Tallahassee Hot Yoga" in May of 2016. Then, he searched for a map of “Hot Yoga Tallahassee” in August of last year. Just a month before the shooting, he viewed Hot Yoga Tallahassee's class schedules on its website, even calling the studio prior to the shooting.

After listening to the details, Balli said, "I just don't know why he chose a place of peace where people are trying to be happy and interested in yoga."

Concerns about Beierle had been raised in the past. A woman reached out to the FBI three months prior to the shooting, but the agency said it was "non-actionable."

Maura Binkley was one of two victims killed. In a text, her dad Jeff said, “I don’t know what to say. This should actually speak for itself. This violent behavior continued unabated over decades. What does that say about our society?"

A day before the results of the investigation were made public, the victims’ families were informed. Even now, they aren't the only ones left still searching for clarity.

"It's always going to be difficult to have closure because you wonder why," Balli said.

For more on this story, including newly-released police documents,