February 05, 2019

Father of yoga shooting victim to attend State of the Union

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The father of one of the women killed in a shooting at a Tallahassee yoga studio last year has been invited to attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

Jeff Binkley, father of shooting victim Maura Binkley, was invited to attend the address as the guest of Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath.

Maura, a 21-year-old Florida State student, was one of two women gunned down when a man opened fire at Hot Yoga Tallahassee on November 2. 61-year-old Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, an FSU faculty member, also lost her life.

Rep. McBath said in a press release on Monday, "Just three months ago, the Binkleys experienced a tragedy that no parent should ever endure. The pain of losing a child to gun violence never ends. Too many families experience tragedies like ours every single day, and it’s that pain that drives my work for common-sense gun safety legislation. Maura’s story must be told. It’s vitally important that we continue to share these stories as we work to keep families like ours from experiencing the horror and heartbreak brought on by gun violence. Our community and our nation cannot wait any longer for common-sense gun safety solutions."

Maura's mother, Margaret, will join her husband and Rep. McBath on the trip to Washington on Tuesday.

Rep. McBath and the Binkleys have a shared experience in losing a child to gun violence. McBath says her son, Jordan Davis, was 17 years old when he was shot and killed by a man who opened fire on a car of unarmed teenage boys at a gas station in Jacksonville in 2012.

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson's office confirms that Joshua Quick, the man credited with taking action to stop the gunman in the yoga shooting, will be attending the State of the Union as his guest.

“Josh is not only a survivor of gun violence, he’s a hero," Rep. Lawson said. "He was courageous in that moment when he fought off the gunman during the yoga shooting. It is only fitting to give him this opportunity. As we work to prevent gun violence in our nation, having advocates, such as Josh, will help move this vital conversation forward.”

On Monday, Florida Senator Rick Scott also announced his guest for the State of the Union address, the father of Meadow Pollack, one of the students killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Valentine's Day.

Source: WCTV Eyewitness News