Utahn upset over how Americans teach yoga fired at studio and owner's house, charges say

A Salt Lake man allegedly upset about how Americans teach yoga was charged Friday with firing inside a yoga studio, at the studio owner's house and at other locations.

A Salt Lake man allegedly upset about how Americans teach yoga was charged Friday with firing inside a yoga studio, at the studio owner's house and at other locations. (Alamy Stock Photo)

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HOLLADAY — A Salt Lake man accused of firing shots at a home and inside a yoga studio — allegedly the culmination of an ongoing argument about how yoga was not being taught correctly — now faces a long list of criminal charges.

Joseph Nrsingha Caitanya Das, 32, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with burglary, a second-degree felony; nine counts of discharge of a firearm and four counts of possession of a gun by a restricted 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 on a report of shots being fired.

The homeowner, who also owns a yoga studio, said he was in bed and his wife and three children were at home when he heard the shots. The man told police that he believed a former friend, Das, was responsible. He said Das had "accused Americans of not teaching yoga correctly, and (his) behavior has become angry, incoherent and has escalated," according to charging documents.

Officers found two bullet holes in a window. One shot "continued through the wall and into the bathroom, where a bullet slug was found in the bathtub," according to the charges. Two more bullet holes were found in a vehicle parked in the driveway with the back window shot out. The homeowner said Das had been sending threatening text and video messages prior to the shooting, and that he had asked Das to leave the yoga studio.

Police say after shooting the house, Das drove to a Chevron station, 4013 S. Wasatch Blvd., and then to Macey's, 4530 S. Highland Drive, and fired rounds near both 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. Police say the shots at the gas station were fired into the air.

One witness told police he believed it was an "active shooter emergency" situation and he was about to ram into Das' car with his own before Das drove off, according to the charges. The witness followed Das while calling police, but said he backed off after another shot was fired.

While police were still talking to the yoga studio owner, he received a call from the studio saying Das was there and acting "wacky," the charges state.

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 which is located at 745 South 700 East in Salt Lake County," the charges state.

A woman who lives at the studio was "in the middle of broadcasting an internet yoga class when Nursingha arrived and began yelling at her and trying to get to her," according to the charging documents.

Das then began firing shots inside the studio, the charges allege. 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 of ammunition from Das' home.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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