© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A Secret Service study of a Tallahassee yoga studio shooting shows the suspect's misogyny

woman showing a note with the text me too
The study says Scott Beierle had a history of "disturbing misogynistic behavior."

A Secret Service case study released today finds that a man who fatally shot two women in a Tallahassee yoga class had a well-documented history of disturbing behavior toward women.

40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle killed two people and injured several others, then killed himself, at a yoga studio in midtown Tallahassee in November of 2018. Beierle had been arrested a couple of times for improper touching and called himself a misogynist in YouTube videos.

The Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center study is an effort to examine how contempt for women can radicalize men -- and spark violent and deadly behavior. The research is aimed at helping to train law enforcement, community, and school officials to better identify potential attackers and stop them before they strike. The center’s chief says “early intervention is key.”

The study says if the clear warning signs regarding Beierle’s behavior had been acted upon, the killings may have been prevented.

From the center's announcement regarding the study:

As concluded in previous research, there continues to be no single profile of an attacker. Rather, attackers tend to demonstrate observable concerning behavior across a variety of community systems, which often elicits concern in bystanders before violence occurs. This case study describes how the attacker’s misogynistic views and associated behaviors resulted in him being fired from multiple jobs, banned from public locations, and being arrested.

The case study also sets forth that a multidisciplinary threat assessment program established at the community level may reduce the risk of future tragedies if the appropriate systems are in place to identity warning signs, assess an individual’s risk of violence, and apply the appropriate community resources. Such proactive safety programs have been established by workplaces, universities, local police departments, and other organizations with a role in public safety.

Misogynistic Extremism Study
Leon County Sheriff's Office
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Leon County Sheriff's Office shows Scott Paul Beierle. According to a case study of the crime by the U.S. Secret Service, Beierle, who signed up for a yoga class in Tallassee, Fla. pretending to be a student before he opened fire in the studio had a well-documented and lengthy history of disturbing behavior toward women. And had the clear warning signs been noticed, the killings may have been prevented.

Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Follow Gina: @hearyourthought on Twitter. Click below for Gina's full bio.