A Salt Lake man who is said to have been upset by the way Americans teach yoga was charged Friday with shootings inside a yoga studio, the studio owner’s home and other locations. (Alamy Photo)
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HOLLADAY – A Salt Lake man accused of shooting at a home and inside a yoga studio – allegedly the culmination of an ongoing row over how yoga was not taught properly – now faces a long list of criminal charges.
Joseph Nrsingha Caitanya Das, 32, was charged in 3rd District Court on Friday with burglary, a second-degree felony; nine counts of discharging a firearm and four counts of possession of a firearm by a restrained person, third degree felonies; and assault, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, Class B misdemeanors.
On June 29, Unified Police were called to the Olympus Cove area following a report of gunshots.
The owner, who also owns a yoga studio, said he was in bed and his wife and three children were home when he heard the gunshots. The man told police he believed an old friend, Das, was responsible. He said Das had “accused Americans of not teaching yoga properly, and (his) behavior became angry, incoherent and escalated,” according to charging documents.
Officers found two bullet holes in a window. A gunshot “continued through the wall and into the bathroom, where a bullet was found in the bathtub”, according to the charges. Two more bullet holes were found in a vehicle parked in the driveway with the rear window pulled out. The owner said Das sent threatening text and video messages before the shooting and asked Das to leave the yoga studio.
According to police, after shooting the house, Das drove to a Chevron station, 4013 S. Wasatch Blvd., then to Macey’s, 4530 S. Highland Drive, and fired near the two businesses.
No injuries were reported at either location. Five to nine shots were fired, according to witnesses. Investigators believe Das fired the shots from his car. According to police, the shots at the gas station were fired into the air.
A witness told police he thought it was an ‘active shooter emergency’ and was about to ram Das’ car with his before Das drove off, according to the accusations. The witness followed Das while calling the police, but said he backed off after another shot was fired.
While police were still talking to the owner of the yoga studio, he received a call from the studio saying Das was there and acting “wacky,” according to the charges.
The yoga studio, the Kirtan Center, also known as “the temple,” is described on its website as a religious institution.
“The Temple is a residence and yoga studio located at 745 South 700 East in Salt Lake County,” the charges state.
A woman who lives at the studio was “streaming a yoga class on the internet when Nursingha arrived and started yelling at her and trying to get at her,” according to the charging documents.
Das then began shooting inside the studio, according to the charges. Officers responding to the studio found Das sitting in a car behind the studio and took him into custody without further incident. They reported recovering two rifles and more than 100 rounds from Das’ home.