A man with a long history of violent, misogynist behavior shot and killed two women (injuring four women and a man) on Friday at a yoga studio in Tallahassee. The shooter killed himself at the scene.
Dr. Nancy Van Vessem and Maura Brinkley were both shot to death. Brinkley “hated gun violence so much,” her father told local reporters. Dr. Van Vessem was an internist and remembered for advocating for accessible health care in her community.
The gunman was an “incel” — an “involuntary celibate,” or a man who finds community with other misogynist men online, where they express their hatred of women because they aren’t able to have romantic or sexual relationships with others. The gunman had a long history of posting violent, anti-women tirades online and engaging with the incel community. He had posted videos and songs online that called women “sluts,” “whores,” and treacherous, and spoke with disgust about interracial couples and LGBTQ people.
He had also been arrested in 2012 and 2016 for grabbing women, and his former roommates told reporters they felt uncomfortable with his odd, angry behavior, and the way he “the way he lurked and followed girls.”
This shooter is just the latest in a long string of “incels” turned violent. In 2014, an incel became a “hero” to his online community when he killed six people and injured 14 in Isla Vista, Calif. He had also targeted women in his killing spree, and posted videos online railing against women who would not sleep with him, men who were sexually active, and interracial couples. The man who shot women at the yoga studio Friday compared himself to the Isla Vista killer.
In Toronto in April this year, a man drove a van through a crowd, killing 10 people. He had also spoken in fawning terms about the Isla Vista killer, and ranted about women who would not sleep with him.
Despite his online presence and history of violent thought and behavior against women, police told Buzzfeed they are still seeking a motive in the shooting.