A three-month police investigation concluded that the man who killed two women at a Tallahassee yoga studio in November was motivated by a lifetime of hatred toward women.
Previous reports noted that the shooter—40-year-old Scott Beierle—was a racist, misogynistic, right-wing extremist who was was arrested twice on battery charges after groping women’s buttocks. But Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo announced new findings during a press conference on Tuesday, including that the FBI had already been notified about Beierle months before the shooting.
From Buzzfeed News:
In Beierle’s case, investigators found he had a history of sexual misconduct going back to grade school, the chief said. While enlisted in the US Army, Beierle had inappropriate contact with female soldiers and was ultimately discharged for unacceptable conduct, DeLeo said.
In 2012 and 2014, he was arrested in incidents that had a “sexual nexus,” DeLeo added. He was fired from two substitute teaching jobs, for looking at porn at school in 2016 and for inappropriately touching a female student in 2018.
In August 2018, Beierle sent a website where he had posted his music to a childhood friend. The content concerned the friend’s wife, who called the FBI.
A screenshot obtained by Buzzfeed News lists an array of songs created by Beierle. One collection known as “American Whore” contained some of the following song titles: “I Raped a Nun,” “Stalker,” “Cumslut,” “I Don’t Fuck Fatties for Free,” “Sexual Predator,” “I Will Not Touch You (My Bullets Will),” and “Rape Gang.”
According to DeLeo, the FBI investigated the tip, but didn’t find it “actionable.”
The investigation concluded that Beierle didn’t target anyone specific when he shot six women—killing 61-year-old Dr. Nancy Van Vessem and 21-year-old Maura Binkley—before killing himself at Tallahassee Hot Yoga on November 2, 2018. Still, internet searches and phone records indicate that he visited the studio’s website as early as 2016, and in the summer of 2018 he searched the studio’s layout, called the studio, and bought a yoga mat. By October, Beierle was researching the studio’s schedule.
Beierle also searched yoga-related pornography online. This is relevant because, as Buzzfeed put it, “Women who wear yoga pants are a regular target of rage from men who describe themselves as ‘incels’—involuntary celibates — online, and Beierle appeared to consider himself a member of that community.”
“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,” said DeLeo, adding that “similar attacks have occurred across the country” and that preventative measures must be taken to “identify people who pose a threat” and protect potential victims.
But if a history of sexual misconduct—from the military to the classroom—and an arrest record, aren’t enough of a red flag to the FBI, what is?