A series of shootings at three spas in the Atlanta area on Tuesday left eight people dead, and authorities have identified six of them as women of Asian descent, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
A 21-year-old white man, Robert Aaron Long, is in custody and has reportedly confessed to the crimes. Long drove tens of miles from one spa in a suburb across the Atlanta metro area to attack two other spas, according to officials. NPR reports that Long is believed to have previously visited the spas he attacked. Long told police that Tuesday’s attack was not racially motivated. He claimed to have a “sex addiction,” and authorities said he apparently lashed out at what he saw as sources of temptation. But those statements spurred outrage and widespread skepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.
With reports of hate crimes against Asian Americans rising sharply over the past year, the attack prompted a strong and emotional response across the country, including Southern California. Recent violent attacks during the pandemic against Asian Americans, particularly older people, across the country — including several in California — have put the community on edge.
Today on AirTalk, we’re inviting Asian and Asian American members of our listening audience to call in and share how you are feeling and how you’re processing those feelings in following Tuesday’s mass shooting and in light of the increased instances of hate and discrimination towards Asians and Asian Americans since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Join our live conversation at 866-893-5722.
With files from the Associated Press
To read more on the reaction from local Asian communities from KPCC/LAist reporter Josie Huang, click here.