According to police, the “God-fearing” trainer returned to the gym with a gun, after he was fired from his job.
Exercisers at the upscale fitness center heard bangs, but thought they came from an overzealous exerciser who slammed two weights together. However, the bangs continued.
Fleeing a shooting:
Ovi Viera told the Miami Herald: “Five gunshots. It was too loud for it to have been a weight dropping. Within two seconds, people just started running out.”
It was reportedly 33 year old Abeku Wilson who did the shooting. Wilson was a trainer at the gym until Saturday. His targets were two of Wilson’s former coworkers at the fitness center; general manager Janine Ackerman and fitness manager Marios Hortis.
As bullets started flying, gym goers fled the Equinox for the safety of the upscale mall in which the gym is located, some wearing only towels.
Lauren DeCanio, a college student who works in the mall, said: “I was confused, I saw men with towels around their waists. Then a man reached out and grabbed my arm, rather forcefully, and said ‘you can’t go there; there has been a shooting.’”
The alarms rang and police arrived at the scene to look for the shooter, but by the time they had arrived, Wilson had reportedly taken his own life.
Equinox released a statement saying: “We can confirm that an incident occurred at our club in Coral Gables, Florida. We are working with all of the relevant authorities as they investigate the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy. Out of respect for them and our entire Equinox family, we will refrain from commenting further until it is appropriate to do so.”
Ackerman and Hortis were both in critical conditions and were transported to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Former colleagues of Wilson’s said that he was a “nice guy, quiet… not a crazy guy.”
While a former customer said: “There was a dance class of 40 people if he wanted to do that. This was personal.”
According to a statement from Detective Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department, the violence was “targeted.”
Zabaleta said: “The preliminary investigation reveals that this shooting involves a dispute between an ex-employee and fitness center staff. The investigation also reveals that both victims were targeted and that this was not an act of random violence.”
Wilson has a profile on the modeling site Model Mayhem, where his biography describes him as: “God-fearing, outgoing, charismatic, versatile, ambitious, kind hearted, and has a youthful and loving sense of humor. He has a positive attitude and appreciates and enjoys the simple things in life.”