Police have identified the women who were killed Friday when a gunman stormed a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, and opened fire.
Nancy Van Vessem was a doctor. Maura Binkley was a college student. Both were part of the Florida State University community.
Here’s what we know about them:
Binkley was a 21-year-old student at Florida State, according to school President John Thrasher.
She grew up in the Atlanta metro area and was known to friends and family for her compassion.
Her father, Jeff Binkley, said his daughter “just radiated love for everybody.”
“You could see her life shines through just about everybody she met,” he said. “That’s consolation to us.”
According to FSU’s website, Binkley was studying for a double major in English and German.
Binkley spent this past summer studying at the University of Wuppertal in Germany, the website said, and she found the experience “so rewarding.”
She was planning to graduate in May, and was in contention for a Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany, her father said.
She had also applied for a position with Teach for America, and on her final day was working on a lesson plan and preparing for an interview with the organization.
“She was so excited,” he said.
Binkley had never been particularly political, he said, but she wanted to see change, and was spurred on by the Parkland school shooting in February.
After the shooting, Binkley went to the state Capitol with the 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.
In a statement posted to its Facebook page, the Delta Delta Delta sorority called Binkley a “beloved sister.”
“As a leader in the (Alpha Eta) chapter, Maura embodied the Tri Delta woman — brave, bold and kind,” the statement from President Kimberlee Sullivan said. “Our hearts are with her family, our sisters and the FSU community during this difficult time.”
Nancy Van Vessem
Van Vessem, 61, was a doctor who was 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 had gotten her medical degree from St. Louis University, the website said, and her research focus was “restructuring health care for people with multiple chronic diseases.”
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.”