21-year-old yoga studio victim remembered as devoted to ‘peace, love and caring for others’

Credit: Tori Schneider

Credit: Tori Schneider

The Atlanta area family of a 21-year-old Florida State University student who was shot and killed at a yoga studio Friday in Tallahassee, Florida, is grieving over their loss and trying to understand how it could have happened.

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Maura Binkley was one of two women killed at the studio when a gunman opened fire.

Her family, including her father Jeff Binkley, is in Tallahassee surrounded by family and friends.

Binkley said he is trying to understand why his daughter's killer would carry out such a violent attack at such a peaceful place. He said his daughter was a young woman who dedicated her life to peace, love and happiness.

"Maura truly lived a life really devoted to peace, love and caring for others," Binkley said.

Not only was she such a compassionate young woman, Binkley said his daughter was also a superstar in the classroom.

Binkley said she earned an academic scholarship to Florida State University and was in the running for a Fulbright Scholarship. She planned to graduate in May with a double major in journalism and German.

Her real passion, though, her father said, was giving back to her community.

>> Related: 3 dead, including shooter, at Florida yoga studio, police say

"Our last conversation, she was so excited about the Teach for America process and preparing a sample lesson plan," Binkley said.

Binkley said his daughter may be gone, but he hopes her tragedy will lead to change. He said he hopes her senseless death will be "a vehicle for change to stem the tide of violence that threats to literally overwhelm our society.”

A vigil is planned for Monday night on the FSU campus.

The family is also planning a public memorial service on Nov. 25 at St. James United Methodist Church in metro Atlanta.

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