Atlanta Police hold briefing on spa shooting

Friday, 19 Mar, 2021

Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Georgia, faces eight counts of murder and one charge of aggravated assault for Tuesday's shootings at three Atlanta massage parlors, in which six of the eight people killed were women of Asian descent. While the motive behind Tuesday's rampage remains under investigation, some see it as a wake-up call to stand up against a rise in violence against the community.

She was reacting to a March 16 incident when a 21-year-old white man shot down Asian women in Atlanta. "That's what Christians need to do".

"Violence against Asian communities has been under the radar. for many years", she said adding that despite her pain over the shootings, she also feels "resilience".

"Last year", Matsui continued, "as I heard, at the highest levels of government, people use racist slurs, like 'China virus, ' to spread xenophobia and cast blame on innocent communities, it was all too familiar".

It also hit home on a very personal level: Last week, she said, she was in a vehicle accident, and another driver punched her in the face and body before she was able to call 911.

Following that incident, she has been getting spiritual guidance and counseling from the congregation.

Jeremy Lin, who is of Chinese and Taiwanese descent, had previously shared multiple incidents in which he was the victim of anti-Asian racism in the past, including being called "coronavirus" during a recent stint in the G League.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young sent out his condolences to the families of the victims, while Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr posted a series of tweets denouncing the attacks.

President Joe Biden ordered American flags at US buildings around the world to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims of the Atlanta massage parlor shootings - an action usually reserved for government or military honors.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has called the shootings in the city of Atlanta, Georgia in the USA "outrageous and distressing" and said that the attack had left Beijing "deeply concerned" since most of the dead were people of Asian origin.

Ripples from the killings have been felt well beyond Atlanta.

"In as much as his words were taken or construed as insensitive or inappropriate, they were not meant to disrespect any of the victims, the gravity of this tragedy or express empathy or sympathy for the suspect", Reynolds said, adding that Baker "had a difficult task before him, and this was one of the hardest in his 28 years in law enforcement".

"Americans across the country believed it, acceded to institutionalized racism, and acted on it", she said. His ethnically diverse congregation is about 60% Filipino American, he said.

Vice-President Kamala Harris, the first African American and South Asian American woman to be elected vice-president, told reporters Wednesday that the tragic shooting speaks to a larger problem of violence in America. We all should have realized this before the ugly anti-Asian racism of the past year. We strengthen our communities by centering the most vulnerable among us.

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Georgia is home to almost 500,000 people of Asian origin, or just over four percent of its population, according to the Asian American Advocacy Fund. What we're seeing here is plenty of shock, anger and frustration about what happened, not just in Asian American neighborhoods but in many communities of color.