A gunman in Florida is dead after the fire opened on Friday night in a hot yoga studio in Tallahassee. At least two people were killed and several others injured before he probably killed himself, the police said.
But it could have been a lot worse, if not a man who has accused the suspect, said one of the witnesses nearby.
Florida State Senator Kristin Jacobs told the Tallahassee Democrat she was attending an office bar at a nearby bar when she witnessed people coming from the yoga studio. Jacobs represents Parkland in Broward County, where in February a shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 students and co-workers.
"One of the first things I heard was shooting," Jacobs told the newspaper. She told how a man in a bloody white T-shirt ran into the bar and said he had attacked the shooter, who then hit him with the pistol before turning the weapon on himself.
"Many people live because this guy has rushed the shooter," Jacobs told the Democrat. "I'm alive because a guy in a class of yoga ran bare-footed against a shooter, he did not run away."
"Many people live because this guy has rushed the shooter. I'm alive because a guy in a class of yoga ran bare-footed against a shooter. He did not run away. "
At about 17:30, the answering officers arrived at the scene. and discovered a total of five victims with gunshot wounds, said the Chief of Police of the Tallahassee, Michael DeLeo, in a video on the Facebook page of the department.
DeLeo confirmed that the suspect is said to have committed suicide.
Rescuers immediately helped and sent five victims to local hospitals for medical treatment. The shooter died with a possible self-inflicted gunshot wound. A victim died in the hospital, "said DeLeo.
The other four injured are in critical condition, he added.
The two victims were called Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, a 61-year-old intern who served as Chief Physician for the Capital Health Plan and identified 21-year-old Maura Binkle, reported the Tallahassee Democrat.
Both Van Vessem and Binkle had connections to Florida State University.
"Losing one of our students and one of our faculty members in this tragic and violent way is simply devastating for the Florida State University family," said University President John Thrasher in a statement received from the newspaper. "We feel this loss deeply and deeply. We send our deepest condolences to Maura and Nancy's family while we pray for the recovery of the injured."
The suspect was identified as 40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle, the newspaper reported.
The authorities believe that only one suspect was involved, and stressed that there is no threat to the area.
"Obviously we are all very sad and shocked by the events," said DeLeo. "But it's important that people understand that there is no immediate threat, outside of what has already happened here tonight."
It is currently being investigated what DeLeo called "a very dynamic scene".
Republican US Representative Ron DeSantis and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who compete in the state governor's race, both spoke on Twitter.
"The news of the filming in Tallahassee is heartbreaking," says DeSantis twittered, "Casey and I are praying for the families of the victim whose life was tragically taken tonight and those who were taken to hospital with injuries."
"I am very grateful for the rapid response of law enforcement agencies to the shooting at the Tallahassee yoga facility today," Gillum said twittered, "No violent violence is acceptable. I'm in close contact with police and return tonight to Tallahassee. "
Governor Rick Scott too twitteredHe said he had contact with the authorities and would "stay in constant communication".
The authorities asked that anyone who has information about the shooting reach the police department.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.