(EDITOR’S NOTE, 11/3/18, 9:53 PM: This article has been updated to account for two deaths (not including the shooter) in the Tallahassee shooting. The original death toll was one.)
A mass shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida has left two victims dead, with four others wounded.
According to CNN, the gunman is also dead, having apparently committed suicide following the shooting. The two women killed were identified as 61-year-old Dr. Nancy Van Bessem and 21-year-old Maura Binkley. The names of the wounded have not been released as of this writing.
“I’m deeply appreciative of law enforcement’s quick response to the shooting at the yoga facility in Tallahassee today,” tweeted Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also running for Florida governor. “No act of gun violence is acceptable. I’m in close communication with law enforcement officials and will be returning to Tallahassee tonight.”
I’m deeply appreciative of law enforcement's quick response to the shooting at the yoga facility in Tallahassee today. No act of gun violence is acceptable. I'm in close communication with law enforcement officials and will be returning to Tallahassee tonight.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 2, 2018
According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), which defines mass shootings as any act of gun violence in which four or more people are shot (not including the perpetrator), this is the 18th mass shooting Florida has experienced since the deadly February 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 students and staff. The most recent mass shooting in Florida prior to the Tallahassee yoga studio shooting happened at a video game tournament in Jacksonville.
Polls show that gun violence is one of the biggest issues for voters in the 2018 midterms. A recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that gun policy ranked #3 on the list of most important issues motivating Americans to show up at the polls on Tuesday, just behind healthcare and the economy. 60 percent of those polled said guns were “very important” to them in the midterms, with 70 percent saying healthcare and 64 percent saying jobs and the economy.
The GVA’s data also shows that Florida is the second-deadliest state for mass shootings in the U.S., with Illinois ranking #1, due to Chicago’s gun violence epidemic. Tallahassee marks the 23rd mass shooting in Florida so far this year.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.