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Yoga Studio Gunman Was Fired From Substitute-Teaching Job After Touching Student Inappropriately

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The gunman who killed two women and wounded five other people at a Florida yoga studio on Friday was fired from his substitute-teaching job earlier this year after he was caught touching a female student inappropriately.

Scott P. Beierle was working as a substitute teacher at Galaxy Middle School in the Volusia School District in central Florida on May 25 when he touched a student near her bra, according to the school district’s records. The girl was “frightened and hid behind another student,“ the records say.

Beierle was brought to the school’s administrative office, but tried to leave the school before he could make a statement. A sheriff’s deputy stopped him and led him back to the school for questioning, the records say.

The county permanently banned him from teaching in the district a letter dated May 30, citing “unprofessional conduct.”

Scott Paul Beierle photo provided by Leon County Sheriff's Office
This undated photo provided by Leon County Sheriff's Office shows Scott Paul Beierle. Two people were shot to death and five others wounded at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Fla. on Nov 3. 2018, by Beierle, a gunman who then killed himself, authorities said.Uncredited—AP/REX/Shutterstock

Beierle killed Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, a faculty member at Florida State University; and Maura Binkley, 21, a student at Florida State; when he opened fire at Tallahassee Hot Yoga Friday, police said.

Volusia school records on Beierle noted several other signs of trouble.

Beierle had been previously been arrested a few times on various charges, including assault, the records say.

At least one parent had contacted the school district previously to express concerns about Beierle.

A mother had contacted the school district to complain about Beierle in October 2017. The mother told the district that he had been staring at the students in a strange way and “shouldn’t be teaching kids.”

Earlier in his career, Beirele had worked as an English and social studies teacher at Meade High School from 2005 to 2007, a spokesperson from Anne Arundel County Public Schools confirmed. He also worked as as a substitute teacher at Leon County Schools (which encompasses Tallahassee) from 2015 to 2016, according to his resume.

Beirele served in the Army in Germany from 2008 to 2010, according to the resume he supplied to Volusia schools.

Leon County Schools did not immediately responded to a request for comment.

Kelly Schulz, the director of community information Volusia County Schools, confirmed that Beirele had worked as a substitute in for the school district from January 2017 to May 2018.

Schulz said in a statement that Beirele had been “immediately let go” once he was accused of misconduct.

Schulz also defended the district’s hiring practices.

“The Volusia County School district is more stringent with their hiring process than state law requires,” Schulz wrote. “For example, Volusia Schools will not hire anyone with any felony conviction or multiple DUI’s.”

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