Four months after a man armed with a handgun entered a Tallahassee yoga studio and shot and killed two women, injuring four others, law enforcement officials confirmed that his motivation was a hatred toward women — and that the FBI ignored a tip about him just three months before the shooting.
According to BuzzFeed News, Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo announced his department’s findings on the case in a press conference on Tuesday. DeLeo said that the shooter, Scott Beierle, did not enter the yoga studio on November 2 with the intention to kill any particular person. Rather, he “pre-planned this attack,” and carried it out because of a “lifetime of misogynistic attitudes.” Investigators discovered that Beierle had called the yoga studio the month before the attack, and searched for a map of the building online.
DeLeo also said that a woman had contacted the FBI about Beierle in August of 2018, because she was disturbed by things Beierle had posted to his website — which included songs filled with violent lyrics and hatred toward women — and forwarded the information to the agency. Some of the song titles, which can be seen in these BuzzFeed screenshots, included: “I Raped a Nun,” “Stalker,” “Sexual Predator,” “I Will Not Touch You (My Bullets Will),” and “Rape Gang.” The FBI did not find the tip “actionable,” according to DeLeo.
“Based on the investigative work, Scott Beierle was a disturbed individual who harbored hatred toward women,” DeLeo said during the press conference. “Although there was no specific target at the yoga studio on the night of November 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.”
Beierle had a long record of sexual misconduct, going as far back as his childhood. Previous reports detailed Beierle’s online activity, which included posting racist and misogynistic comments. He was also discharged from the army following his treatment of female soldiers. Later he was fired from two substitute teaching jobs, in 2016 and 2018, for inappropriate behavior. The first time, he was caught looking at porn, and the second, just months before his attack on the yoga studio, he was accused of touching a female student.
Before committing suicide, Beierle shot and killed Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21.