Atlanta police reported the arrest of the suspect on Wednesday, March 17, after death by gunshot. eight people in three massage parlors in the region. Among the victims, six women of Asian descent were shot and killed. At the end of the night, it was not known if these attacks had a racist motive, but they occurred in the context of an increase in anti-Asian acts in the United States.
After examining the video surveillance images, “it is highly probable” that the same shooter was involved in all three attacksa police spokesman told AFP. On Tuesday, around 5 pm (9 pm GMT), a first shooting left four dead and two injured at a massage parlor nearly 50 kilometers from Atlanta. Later in the afternoon, two new shootings left four dead at two neighboring massage parlors in Atlanta, city police said in a statement sent to AFP.
“Upon arrival, the police found three women dead inside with visible gunshot wounds. Still there, the police were informed of gunfire from across the street,” where they found another woman dead, the press release said. A suspect has been in custody since Tuesday night, Cherokee County Police said in a Facebook post: Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested more than 240 miles south of Atlanta..
Increase in crime against Asians
Diary Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the first shooting took place in an Asian massage parlor, where two women of Asian descent, a white woman and a white man, were killed. Also, the four victims of the other two shootings they are themselves of Asian origin always according toAtlanta Journal-Constitution.
It is not yet known if these shootings specifically targeted the Asian community. Crimes motivated by anti-Asian racism nearly tripled, from 49 to 122 last year in the 16 largest cities in the United States. Atlanta is the largest city in the state of Georgia, in the southeastern United States, a state with about 500,000 inhabitants of Asian origin, or just over 4% of its population, according to the Asian American Advocacy Fund, an Asian human rights group in the United States.
On Tuesday night, the New York police announced “as a precaution” the sending of reinforcement patrols in areas that concentrate residents of Asian origin. “Today’s tragic killings in Atlanta reaffirm the need to act and protect ALL marginalized minorities in America from racism,” tweeted famed attorney Ben Crump, known for representing those close to George Floyd.