The actions of a 33-year-old man may have stopped further carnage Friday night after a gunman opened fire at a hot yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida — ultimately killing two women and shooting four others before he took his own life.
Daniela Garcia Albalat, 19, was shot through the thigh by the 40-year-old assailant.
Albalat told ABC News on Sunday that she was able to escape the yoga studio with her life because of Joshua Quick’s bravery.
“Thanks to him, I was able to try to rush out of the door,” Albalat said. “I was slipping, I was dripping blood everywhere, ’cause I got shot through my thigh.”
“I want to thank that guy from the bottom of my heart, because he saved my life,” she said.
During a lull in the shooting, Quick grabbed a vacuum cleaner, according to Albalat, and bashed the gunman over the head with its bulky base.
Several yoga students managed to escape during the ensuing struggle.
Quick told ABC the blow had little effect on the shooter, who “turned and pistol-whipped me,” continuing their altercation.
“I felt myself fall to the ground. I didn’t lose consciousness. I jumped up, ran over and grabbed the only other thing that I could find — which is a broomstick — and I hit him over the head with that,” Quick explained. “Again, he pushed me off, but some people were able to run out of the room.”
Others stepped in to assist Quick. At that point, the shooter put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
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Without naming Quick, Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo confirmed at a news conference on Friday that “several people fought back and tried not only to save themselves but other people, which is a testament to the courage of the people who don’t just turn and run [and] the strength of our community and the spirit of those people trying to help and save and protect others.”
(Tallahassee police did not immediately respond Monday to a request for further comment on Quick’s actions.)
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Two victims did not survive Friday’s shooting: Maura Binkley, 21, and 61-year-old Dr. Nancy Van Vessem.
Binkley was studying at Florida State University, while Van Vessem — a doctor specializing in internal medicine — taught at the university’s medical school. She was also the chief medical director for Florida’s Capital Health Plan.
A motive for the violence has not been publicly discussed, though the shooter reportedly had a history of extremist and misogynistic activity online.