Police say two people died from a shooter who opened the fire in a Florida yoga studio before killing himself.
Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo told reporters on Friday night that the shooter shot six people and gunned another after walking into the studio, which is part of a small shopping mall in the capital.
The suspect shot himself, DeLeo said. The authorities have identified neither the aggressor nor the victims. The conditions of the other victims are unclear.
DeLeo said the police are asking anyone who has seen anything unusual at the time of the shootout to contact the police. He said the shooter is acting alone and the authorities are investigating possible motives. He declined to say what kind of weapon was used.
"We are all very sad and shocked by the events, but it is important that people understand that there is no immediate threat outside the event that has already occurred this evening," DeLeo said.
"We just heard" pow, pow, pow, pow "
Melissa Hutchinson said she helped treat a "bleeding" man who had fallen into a bar after the incident. She said three people from the studio had come in and they were told she was an active shooter.
"It was a shocking moment that something like that happened," Hutchinson said.
The people who came in were injured, including the bleeding man who was hit with the gun when he tried to stop the shooter. They told her that the shooter kept returning to the studio. When he loaded his gun, people bumped into the studio's windows to warn them.
City Commissioner Scott Maddox was at the scene. He said on Facebook, "In my public service career I've had some bad scenes, which is the worst, please pray."
Elle Welling said she had left a liquor store opposite the mall and saw at least three people being loaded into ambulances.
"You do not think about it in Tallahassee, and now you have to," said 26-year-old Welling, who lives in the neighborhood.
The square has popular restaurants, a jewelry shop, a shop, a hair salon and other shops.
Erskin Wesson, 64, said he dined with his family in a restaurant under the yoga studio when they heard the gunfire over them.
"We've just heard of pow, pow, pow, pow," Wesson said. "It sounded like a limb falling on a tin roof and rolling."
A short time later, the owner of the restaurant asked if anyone was a doctor, Wesson said. His stepdaughter is a nurse in the emergency room and helped the paramedics for about an hour, he said.
"No violent violence is acceptable"
The Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for the governor, tweeted that he is canceling the election to return to Tallahassee. Previously, he appeared at a campaign meeting with former President Barack Obama.
"I am very grateful for the rapid response of the law enforcement authorities to the shootout at the Tallahassee yoga facility, no acts of violence are acceptable, I am in close contact with police and return to Tallahassee tonight," Gillum tweeted
Republican Governor Rick Scott, who challenged Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, called DeLeo and the Florida Department of Law enforcement for details of the shooting.
"I'll stay in constant communication with law enforcement, we've offered government support," Scott tweeted.
The crime and murder rate of Tallahassee was a problem in the governor's race. Gillum's opponent, former Republican US Representative Ron DeSantis, called the most crime-prone city in the capital of Florida an incorrect proposition.