West Palm Beach lawyer Sarah Young Hodges, 34, was one of seven people shot at a yoga studio in Tallahassee at around 5:30 p.m. Nov. 2.
The gunman, Scott Paul Beierle, 40, posed as a patron before opening fire at Hot Yoga Tallahassee in Betton Place, according to police.
Hodges is a staff attorney for the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. She was discharged from hospital Nov. 6, and is in a stable condition.
Florida State University faculty member Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and student Maura Binkley, 21, were killed. Patrons fought the shooter, Beierle, who eventually turned the gun on himself, according to police.
Hodges used to live in Tallahassee and had returned to film a continuing legal education video for the Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar. Hodges serves as program chair for the course.
“At the end of a very long day, eight-hour filming, probably, this happens,” said president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Jennifer Shoaf Richardson, who appointed Hodges to her post.
Beierle had a history of making racist and misogynistic statements. In 2014, he posted several videos on YouTube, which had names like ”Plight of the Adolescent Male” and “The Rebirth of my Misogynism,” according to Buzzfeed News.
“Respect for women and the bodies of women is of central importance for us, and that’s not a partisan issue and it should not be,” Richardson said. “We’re so proud of Sarah for using her voice from this experience to encourage people to vote on election day.”
Just days after the shooting and on the eve of Florida’s midterm elections, Hodges wrote an opinion piece for the Tallahassee Democrat, condemning the attacker’s alleged ideology.
“I think that just speaks to who she is, that she would use her time in a hospital bed to encourage other people to vote and really think about what respect means,” said Richardson.
According to Richardson, Hodges has been a strong advocate for various legislative efforts, including paid parental leave for government lawyers.
“We are mothers, professionals, wives, caretakers, friends, sisters, aunts, cousins and members of our communities,” Hodges wrote. “One man ensured that Tallahassee lost two outstanding members of their community.”
According to the op-ed, Hodges and the other patrons were in child’s pose, kneeling with their faces to the floor, when Beierle opened fire.
The Florida Yoga Teacher’s Association has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the shooting victims and yoga studio owner.
Hodges declined to speak with the Daily Business Review while she recovers with her family and young daughter.
Hodges was admitted to the bar in 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Florida Coastal College of Law.