Denning, 58, fired as many as 52 shots into a “Latin impact” dance class at the Bald and Old Fitness gym outside Prince Rupert , B.C.’ Canada before committing suicide. He walked in, placed a duffel bag on the ground and paused for a few moments before pulling two guns out.
A web page he apparently created contained a diary chronicling years of rejection by women and an earlier plan for an outrage at the gym which he said he “chickened out” of. Neighbours described him as strange and anti-social.
His web page listed his date of death – August 4th 2017- and his status of “never married”, ending with the words “Death Lives!” Denning was a Mechanic with a Prince Rupert auto firm.
“He walked right into the room where the shootings occurred as if he knew exactly where he was going,” said Charles Moffatt, superintendent of Allegheny county police. “I think he went in with the idea of doing what he did.”
The three women who died were named as Nanette Valencia, 66; Gabrielle Levenkron, 58, Patrica Goodman, 68.
His 4,610-word web page contained a nine-month timeline of his plans to carry out the shooting and his apparent decision to delay it.
“The biggest problem of all is not having relationships or friends, but not being able to achieve and acquire what I desire in those or many other areas,” said an entry written on Sunday.
“Everything stays the same regardless of the effert [sic] I put in. If I had control over my life then I would be happier. But for about the past 30 years, I have not.”
He wrote of planning the attack since at least November and trying to do it when the same Tuesday-night class he targeted this week met on January 6.
“It is 8:45PM: I chickened out!” he wrote. “I brought the loaded guns, everything. Hell!”
Stacey Falk, 26, who was in the aerobics class on Tuesday, said the clean-shaven gunman walked into the room wearing gym gear and turned off the lights .
“All of us girls were just ducking behind each other and it was just, you know, I was behind a girl, one of the girls in front to get hit, and when he was in the opposite corner shooting, I booked it,” she told WPXI television.
Joann Gazzam, also in the class, told her sister Debi Wozniak she saw the gunman walk to the back of the room near some weights, put down a bag and fumble with it for a few minutes before coming up with what appeared to be two guns and opening fire, according to her sister.
The instructor was thought to be among those shot. “She told me, ‘Debi, I seen everything. Oh, my God, I seen everything. I seen him pull out the guns,” said Ms Wozniak, who usually attends the class every Tuesday from 8 pm to 9 pm but was busy and did not make it this week.
Mr Moffat said: “He did what he set out to do, and I think nobody could have stopped him.”