When a man entered a yoga studio last week and began randomly shooting, the students reportedly fought back. One of those is being hailed as a hero for attacking the gunman with a vacuum cleaner and a broom, and he’s being credited for ending the attack.
Scott Paul Beierle, 40, killed two women in the yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida Friday. Beirele had difficulty with the gun, though, which allowed the students to fight back.
Joshua Quick was one of those. When Beierle’s gun jammed, Quick stepped up.
Beierle’s had walked in with a duffel bag. At first, his appearance didn’t trouble anyone.
“The yoga instructor walked over to assist him to do something and that’s when I heard her scream,” Quick told reporters.
“I looked up…I do not recall this, but i was told that I yelled, ‘He’s got a gun’.”
Quick began looking for an improvisational weapon, something that might give him an advantage.
“The only thing that I could think was was this vacuum cleaner with a heavy end, so as soon as he came out of the corner, the gun stopped. I used that opportunity to hit him over the head with it [vacuum cleaner].”
Beierle hit Quick with his pistol. The blow knocked him down.
“I jumped up as quickly as I could, ran back over and next thing you know, I’m grabbing a broom, anything I can. And I hit him again.”
“I want to thank that guy from the bottom of my heart because he saved my life,” Daniela Garcia Albalat told reporters. She was there in the studio when the shooting began.
All told, there were six people shot. Maura Binkley, 21, and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, were killed in the attack.
Beierle was able to get his gun working again, and he used it to shoot himself.
After Dr. Van Vessem’s death was announced, Capital Health Plan released a statement: “Our Capital Health Plan family is deeply shocked and saddened about the tragic loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, among the other victims of this terrible incident.”
“As CHP’s longtime chief medical director, Nancy has been a guiding, visionary force in our daily work to serve the wellness and health care needs of thousands of families in this community.”
“Her dedication, caring, leadership, humanity, and experience made her one of the most respected, inspiring, and accomplished medical professionals in the state and country. Our hearts are filled with sorrow and prayers for her family. We all have been so blessed to have Nancy in our lives.”
Florida State University President John Thrasher also released a statement: “There are no words to express the shock and grief we feel after learning of the deaths of Maura Binkley and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem.”
“To lose one of our students and one of our faculty members in this tragic and violent way is just devastating to the Florida State University family. We feel this loss profoundly and we send our deepest sympathies to Maura’s and Nancy’s loved ones while we pray for the recovery of those who were injured.”