ATLANTA AP — A white gunman was charged Wednesday with killing eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors in an attack that sent terror through the Asian American communitywhich has increasingly been targeted during the coronavirus pandemic.
A day after the shootings, investigators were trying to unravel what might have compelled year-old Robert Aaron Long to commit the worst mass killing in the U. But those statements spurred outrage and widespread skepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.
Bee Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American to serve in the Georgia House and a frequent advocate for women and communities of color. Jay Baker told reporters. The was deleted Wednesday night, and Baker did not immediately respond to voics and an seeking comment.
The Atlanta mayor said police have not been to the massage parlors in her city beyond a minor potential theft. The attack was the sixth mass killing this year in the U. It follows a lull in mass killings during the pandemic inwhich had the smallest of such attacks in more than a decade, according to the database, which tracks mass killings defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter.
Atlanta shootings: asian women among eight killed at three spas
The killings horrified the Asian American community, which saw the shootings as an attack on them, given a recent wave of assaults that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. The virus was first identified in China, and then-President Donald Trump and others have used racially charged terms to describe it.
The attacks began when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor near Woodstock, about 30 miles 50 kilometers north of Atlanta, authorities said. Yaun leaves behind a year-old son and 8-month-old daughter. He heard the gunshots and everything.
The manager of a boutique next door said her husband watched surveillance video after the shooting and the suspect was sitting in his car for as long as an hour before going inside. The same car was then spotted about 30 miles 48 kilometers away in Atlanta, where a call came in about a robbery at Gold Spa and three women were shot to death.
Another woman was fatally shot at the Aromatherapy Spa across the street. Long was arrested hours later by Crisp County deputies and state troopers.
He refused to stop on a highway and officers bumped the back of his car, causing him to crash, Sheriff Billy Hancock said. Officers found Long thanks to help from his parents, who recognized him from surveillance footage posted by authorities and gave investigators his cellphone information, which they used to track him, said Reynolds, the Cherokee County sheriff.
The recent attacks against the community are un-American. Over the past year, thousands of incidents of abuse have been reported to an anti-hate group that tracks incidents against Asian Americans, and hate crimes in general are at the highest level in more than a decade.
The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize sex addiction in its main reference guide for mental disorders. Man charged with killing 8 people at Georgia massage parlors.
A police officer watches as a body is taken from the Gold Spa massage parlor after a shooting, late Tuesday, March 16,in Atlanta. Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left multiple people dead, many of them women of Asian descent, authorities said. A year-old man suspected in the shootings was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt, police said.
Full Coverage: Atlanta.
Man charged with killing 8 people at georgia massage parlors
Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.