A personal trainer and part-time model in Miami shot 2 former co-workers then killed himself at a gym in the upscale Shops at Merrick Park mall on Saturday.
Earlier that morning, Abeku Wilson, 33, was terminated from his job at the trendy Equinox gym nestled among the shops on South Lejeune Road in Coral Gables, Florida.
After a tense dispute with gym management, Wilson returned at 12:55 p.m. with a handgun. According to the Miami Herald, Wilson shot the gym's general manager Jeanine Ackerman and a personal trainer Marios "Mario" Hortis.
A witness said Wilson, still wearing his personal trainer uniform, entered Equinox through the front entrance, assumed a shooting stance and targeted a man behind the front desk.
Wilson then turned the gun on himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Five gunshots,” said Ovi Viera, 41, a nurse from Coconut Grove who was in the men’s locker room at the time of the shooting. "It was too loud for it to have been a weight dropping. Within two seconds, people just started running out."
Another witness told the Herald she saw Ackerman unconscious on the floor. The witness said Ackerman had been shot in the head. The witness who asked to remain anonymous said Hortis was conscious and asking for help but bleeding profusely.
Panicked Equinox clients flooded out of the gym and ran into nearby stores to hide. A few of the men were naked except for towels around their waists.
A medevac helicopter landed on the roof of Coral Gables High School across the street and transported the victims to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial hospital, where Ackerman later died.
Wilson, an avid bodybuilder, was born in Boston but had family ties in Ghana. He lived in Miami and worked at Equinox gym for the last 3 years.
He was usually clean shaven and neat as a pin, but witnesses say he looked disheveled and unshaven on Saturday morning.
Wilson was a volunteer with the Big Brother Big Sister program and mentored underprivileged boys in Miami in his spare time.
As a part-time model, he was featured on an episode of Basketball Wives: Miami.