The man who police said opened fire at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, on Friday evening made numerous racist and misogynistic comments in YouTube videos posted in 2014, according to a report from The New York Times.
In the videos, the man identified with “involuntary celibates” – otherwise known as “incels” – and also made derogatory remarks about interracial relationships and appeared resentful toward women who wouldn’t date him.
CNN has seen the videos The New York Times reported on, but has not independently verified that the man in the videos is the gunman identified by police.
The videos were first reported by BuzzFeed News.
According to police, Scott Paul Beierle, 40, walked into Hot Yoga Tallahassee on Friday evening and opened fire, killing two people and wounding five others before turning the gun on himself.
Police identified the two killed as Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21.
According to The New York Times, Beierle was sympathetic toward Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and wounded 14 others in 2014 near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rodger had wrriten a manifesto in which he lamented his virginity, which he blamed on the “cruelness of women.”
Beierle said that as an adolescent he could relate to “this endless wasteland that breeds this longing and this frustration,” The New York Times reported.
He recounted a string of instances in which he was personally rejected.
“Made one date, didn’t show up,” he said of one woman, according to The New York Times. “Made another date, didn’t show up. Kept making excuses. Ah, I could’ve ripped her head off.”
“I don’t think a female can ever understand the societal pressure that’s put on an adolescent male to unburden himself of this stigma that society’s put on him,” he said. “This virginity burden.”
The videos had names like “Plight of the Adolescent Male” and “Dangers of Diversity.”
People fought shooter, police said
People inside Hot Yoga Tallahassee appeared to have fought the gunman in an effort to save themselves and others, Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo said.
Evidence and interviews with dozens of witnesses led police to determine Beierle “entered the business posing as a customer and began shooting patrons with a handgun without warning,” DeLeo said Saturday.
The gunman, who was already dead when officers arrived, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the police chief said in a statement Saturday.
It remains unclear what connection Beierle, who was staying at a local hotel, had to the yoga studio and the victims, DeLeo said. Investigators are working to determine the gunman’s motive.
A Defense Department official told CNN that Beierle was an Army veteran, but the official did not provide further details.
According to police, Beierle was a Florida State University graduate and had been the “subject of prior calls for service in the Tallahassee area related to harassment of young women.”
It’s believed he acted alone, DeLeo said, and there’s no threat to the community.
Police received 911 calls about a shooting at 5:37 p.m. Friday – minutes after a hot yoga flow class was scheduled to begin, according to the studio’s website.
When officers arrived, they found that six people were shot and one person had been pistol-whipped.
Two victims were in stable condition, police said early Saturday, and three others had been released from the hospital.
Of the two hospitalized, one was shot nine times, and the other had a bullet pass through her body, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum told reporters.
A doctor and a college student slain
DeLeo said investigators were unable to draw a connection immediately between the gunman and either of the deceased.
Binkley was a student at Florida State, and Van Vessem was a faculty member at the university’s medical school, CNN affiliate WCTV reported.
“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,” Florida State President John Thrasher said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
“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.”
Van Vessem was a doctor specializing in internal medicine who was chief medical director for Florida’s Capital Health Plan, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.
“As we process the gut-wrenching act of violence that took place this evening in a place of peace in our community, we hold in our hearts everyone who is affected and lift them up in love,” officials tweeted from the city’s verified account.
Gillum addresses gun violence on campaign trail
Gillum, who is also the Democratic nominee in the Florida governor’s race, took a brief break from campaigning and returned to Tallahassee on Friday evening after receiving news of the shooting.
“The truth is that these occurrences have become far too frequent in our society,” Gillum said. “I would ask that the community continue to lift up the victims, those who are still recovering from their injuries.”
Gillum met with victims Friday night after he returned from a Shabbat service in South Florida honoring the 11 people killed a week ago in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
He was back at it Saturday afternoon and addressed what he called “nonsensical gun violence” while at a “Get Out the Vote” rally in Orlando.
According to Gillum, one of the victims of Friday’s shooting told him, “I am expecting you to do something about this gun violence.”
“This is certainly not the news that I expected in the final closing days of this race,” he said, “but I want you to know that I am more agitated and activated, more than I ever have been when it comes to the need for us to bring the power of the NRA to kneel in the state of Florida and around this country.”
Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for Florida governor, addressed the shooting on Twitter on Friday night, calling it “heartbreaking.”
“Casey and I are praying for the families,” he said.
CNN’s Meridith Edwards, Dianne Gallagher, Danielle Hackett, Patrick Cornell and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.