The victim wanted to help others


A yoga solidarity event on November 3, 2018 in the center of Tallahassee brought together members of the community.
Special to the Tallahassee Democrat

Maura Bingley was hoping to find a job with Teach for America. The 21-year-old Florida State student was working on a lesson plan and had simply asked her mom for advice on the right thing she had to wear for her interview. He wanted to nail it.

"He just wanted to help other people," said Daddy Jeff Binkley. "That's what he always wanted to do."

His bright and beautiful single daughter was killed on Friday night when a fighter opened fire at Hot Yoga Tallahassee. It was a place that would go on to maintain a balanced workout, which was important to her.

More: At least 3 dead, including the police officer, shooting at the Tallahassee yoga studio, police say

More: "Senselessness": Gunman set up as a client before firing fire at the Tallahassee yoga studio

Dr. Nanny Van Vesem, who was one of ten others at 5:30 pm. class, was also killed. Five others were injured. The actor killed himself after shooting.

Binkley said the Tallahassee police told him the incident was a random act. On Saturday, he and his wife, Margarita, traveled to Tallahassee from the homeland of the Atlanta family to meet in person with the investigators.

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"He hated so much with the gun," said Binkley, 61, of the same age as Van Vessem, who was fatally injured with his daughter.

Binkley remembered earlier this year when he and Maura ran to the father of one of the gymnastics victims at the Parkland gym. Trails crossed into the lobby of a Tallahassee hotel when students and families came to Capitol Hill to protest gunfire.

"He talked about how horrible and silly this was, he never dreamed that it would be us later," he said.

An older student in FSU, Maura was studying German and editing, writing and the media. He was expected to graduate in May.

More: Kristin Jacobs, who represents Parkland Park, witnessed the consequences of taking Tallahassee yoga studios

"She was always polite and smiled at everyone," said Santina Deming, who was in a rhetorical class with Maura. "He was always a leader in the classroom and he was very smart."

Maura wanted a profession where she could write and help others. Volunteered to teach a literacy program. Eventually, he wanted to graduate from the school and thought to deal with government affairs or an international organization.

Yoga for a Cause, initially organized to help the Typhoon Michael enclave, becomes a community event to create a sense of peace the following day after the end of the Hot Yoga Tallahassee on Adams Street on Saturday, November 3, 2018. (Photo: Alicia Devine / Democrat)

During the spring semester, he spent five months at the University of Wuppertal in Germany. She traveled to almost every country in Europe, her dad said.

Maura was a member of the Delta Delta Delta. On the capital page, he is listed as vice president of capital development. He was a Pan-Hellenic representative, a model chair, and a rape counselor.

Luxury was ruined by the news.

"As a leader in our capital, Maura embodies Tri Delta's wife – brave, bold and courteous," said Tri Delta International President Kimberlee Sullivan in a statement.

"Our hearts are with our family, our sisters and the FSU community in this difficult time. We are grateful for the revolt of support as we honor Maura's life and we ask with respect for secrecy as we mourn for this tragic loss.

Maura was close to her parents and 25-year-old son Shon, who lived in Atlanta. Listen to the National Public Radio with her dad, which they contributed from the moment they went to school in the second grade. He likes to cook. During her last conversation with her mom, she asked for a recipe for pumpkin bread.

The family stayed together in Seaside on the first weekend of October to celebrate Margaret's 58th birthday. Maura was there for the weekend and returned to FSU on 9 October. One day later, with Hurricane Michael going to Florida, he went home to Atlanta for a few days. Maura left to return to school on October 14th.

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This was the last time her family saw her.

"I want people to know that she loved everyone, believed in their lives for others," her dad said as he headed to Tallahassee. "One of her greatest desires was just peace, which would stop unnecessary violence."

Follow Ashley White on Twitter @AshleyyDi.

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