WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

These are the victims of the Florida yoga studio shooting

One woman was a renowned doctor with an illustrious career spanning decades.The other was on the cusp...

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 4:34 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 4:34 PM

One woman was a renowned doctor with an illustrious career spanning decades.

The other was on the cusp of graduating college, eager to launch a career helping others.

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Diet, nutrition and fitness

Exercise and fitness

Fitness centers

Florida

Health and medical

North America

Shootings

Southeastern United States

The Americas

United States

Tallahassee

Education

Education systems and institutions

Higher education

2018 Parkland school shooting

Homicide

Mass murder

Murder

School violence

Societal issues

Society

Violence in society

Teachers and teaching

They were separated by 40 years, but united by their ties to Florida State University and a shared love of yoga.

But the tranquility of their yoga studio was shattered last week when a gunman stormed in and opened fire, senselessly ending the lives of the two beloved women.

Here's what we know about Maura Binkley and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem:

Maura Binkley

Binkley was a 21-year-old student at Florida State, university President John Thrasher said.

She grew up in the Atlanta metro area and was known to friends and family for her compassion.

Binkley "just radiated love for everybody," her father Jeff Binkley said.

"You could see her life shines through just about everybody she met," he said. "That's consolation to us."

Binkley was studying for a double major in English and German, according to FSU's website.

She spent this past summer studying at the University of Wuppertal in Germany, the website said.

'The experience is so rewarding and makes the world seem so small," Binkley told Florida State University News this summer.

She planned to graduate in May and was in contention for a Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany, her father said.

Binkley had also applied for a position with Teach for America. On the last day of her young life, Binkley was working on a lesson plan and preparing for an interview with Teach for America.

"She was so excited," her father said.

His daughter had never been particularly political, he said. But she wanted to see change after the Parkland school massacre in February.

After the shooting, Binkley went to the state Capitol with Parkland students and their families to lobby for change.

She later asked her father, "Dad, what can I do? What can I do about this?" he said.

"We talked about it, never dreaming that it was going to be us," Jeff Binkley said.

"She'd want to tell you that people just need to step back and think of losses of all types ... that emanate from our lack of ability to deal in any effective way with pervasive mental illness and the control and regulation of firearms," he said.

"She'd also say she wished nothing but peace and love and care for everybody," he added, choking up and hanging his head.

The yoga studio where she was killed had been there for years, he said, and was right above one of his favorite restaurants to eat with Maura when he was in town.

Binkley's sorority, Delta Delta Delta, called her a "beloved sister" on its Facebook page.

"As a leader in the (Alpha Eta) chapter, Maura embodied the Tri Delta woman -- brave, bold and kind," a statement from President Kimberlee Sullivan said. "Our hearts are with her family, our sisters and the FSU community during this difficult time."

Dr. Nancy Van Vessem

Van Vessem, 61, was a doctor and chief medical director for Capital Health Plan, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. She was also a faculty member at Florida State, Thrasher said.

According to the Florida State College of Medicine's website, Van Vessem was in charge of coordinating third- and fourth-year clerkship rotations in internal medicine on the school's Tallahassee campus.

She earned her medical degree from St. Louis University, the website said, and her research focus was "restructuring health care for people with multiple chronic diseases."

At a vigil on FSU's campus Sunday night, Thrasher recalled Van Vessem's daughter saying no one was "more selfless, more loving, supportive and fabulous" than her mother.

Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee shared a tribute to Van Vessem on its Facebook page, calling the doctor "a physician and leader who touched countless lives as chief medical officer at Capital Health Plan."

"Dr. Van Vessem was part of the Big Bend Hospice community," the statement said. "She was our friend and a champion for end-of-life care."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33591

Reported Deaths: 1204
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds269748
DeSoto181818
Madison138236
Jones117349
Harrison104014
Rankin103515
Neshoba102274
Lauderdale94281
Forrest93943
Scott79215
Jackson72717
Washington64310
Copiah63115
Leake61320
Lee58621
Holmes57341
Oktibbeha56828
Wayne55416
Warren55320
Yazoo5436
Grenada5357
Lowndes52613
Leflore52256
Lincoln50935
Lamar5027
Pike47020
Sunflower4528
Lafayette4374
Monroe43635
Covington4195
Panola3996
Bolivar38018
Attala37524
Simpson3733
Newton35710
Adams34019
Pontotoc3266
Tate32313
Marion31312
Claiborne29310
Chickasaw29219
Winston28711
Pearl River27632
Noxubee2758
Marshall2693
Jasper2676
Clay25511
Union23811
Smith23412
Walthall2267
Coahoma2156
Clarke21425
Lawrence1992
Yalobusha1938
Kemper18014
Carroll17311
Tallahatchie1664
Humphreys15910
Montgomery1493
Calhoun1475
Tippah14411
Itawamba1418
Hancock13813
Webster12811
Tunica1193
Jefferson1173
Jefferson Davis1164
Prentiss1123
Greene10810
Amite1063
George1023
Wilkinson959
Tishomingo921
Quitman891
Alcorn852
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin492
Benton420
Sharkey420
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Columbus
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather