Gillum leaves campaign trail in wake of Tallahassee shooting

Tallahassee Mayor and Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said he will return to the state’s capital city after a shooting there Friday at a yoga studio. 

“I’m deeply appreciative of law enforcement's quick response to the shooting at the yoga facility in Tallahassee today. No act of gun violence is acceptable. I'm in close communication with law enforcement officials and will be returning to Tallahassee tonight,” Gillum tweeted Friday evening.

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A lone shooter entered a yoga studio in Tallahassee and shot five people, killing one and injuring four who remain in critical condition, a Tallahassee police spokesperson told The Hill. The spokesperson also said shooter is dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police said they do not believe there is any further threat to the public and do not yet know the identity of the shooter.

The shooting comes four days ahead of the Sunshine State’s gubernatorial election between Gillum and former Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida governor suspends Palm Beach County elections supervisor Florida governor threatens Airbnb over West Bank settlements Florida governor announces sheriff's suspension over Parkland shooting MORE (R) to replace Gov. Rick Scott (R). The race is one of the nation’s tightest contests, with The Cook Political Report rating it a “toss up,” and an average of polls calculated by RealClearPolitics showing Gillum up 2.7 percentage points.

It is unclear if and how the shooting and Gillum’s absence from the campaign trail will impact the race. 

The contest represents a battle of the bases, as both Gillum and DeSantis defeated more mainstream candidates in their primary races and have strong appeals to the progressive and Trump wings of the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively. 

The race has rapidly devolved into a slugfest, with Gillum accusing DeSantis of being a lacky of the president and of employing racism by saying Floridians shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum, who is African-American, governor. DeSantis has slammed Gillum for alleged corruption as mayor of Tallahassee and has frequently cited the city’s crime statistics as proof that Gillum is ineffective in his post.