Atlanta-Area Shootings Under Investigation, Suspect Arrested

A suspected gunman has been arrested after eight people in Atlanta, including six women of Asian descent, were killed when several different day spas were targeted yesterday, according to Reuters.

Four of the women were Korean, according to the South Korean consulate general’s office in Atlanta. There were a total of three shootings which occurred within an hour of each other, according to NBC News.

After a manhunt, Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested. The FBI is now also involved in the case and an investigation is underway to determine whether it was a hate crime. Police have yet to release a motive; however, the Stop AAPI Hate organization released a statement that says this shows more needs to be done to protect Asian Americans

“The reported shootings of multiple Asian American women today in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy — for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the Asian American community, which has been reeling from high levels of racist attacks over the course of the past year,” the statement said. “This latest attack will only exacerbate the fear and pain that the Asian American community continues to endure.”

President Biden has also been briefed about the killings. This comes in the midst of an increase in crimes against Asian Americans nationwide, which Biden recently condemned in a nationally-televised speech.

Nearly 3,800 incidents against Asians, with many of them against women, have been reported over approximately a year during the pandemic, according to Stop AAPI Hate. As a result of the Atlanta shootings, the counter terrorism unit at the New York police department is increasing its number of police officers in Asian communities.