At least eight people have been killed in three shootings on Tuesday in and around the US city of Atlanta and perpetrated in a massage parlor and two spas, according to authorities, who have identified more than half of the victims as women from Asian origin.
Around 5:00 p.m. (local time) Cherokee County Police officers received a tip for an attack in the vicinity of a massage parlor, where they found several shooting victims. Four people, two of them supposedly of Asian origin, lost their lives in this first incident.
Less than an hour later, there were two other shootings in the city of Atlanta, specifically in two spas that are located opposite each other. In total, four women lost their lives in this double incident and, according to the South Korean Foreign Ministry, they were of South Korean origin – their nationality is not clear – reports NBC News.
The Police works with the hypothesis that all the events are related and that, therefore, the person responsible is the same in all three cases. Cherokee County authorities have confirmed the arrest of a suspect, Robert Aarong Long, 21, although his possible motives have not yet been revealed.
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant has reported that security forces have begun reviewing security camera footage and has avoided speculating on motives. “We are at a very early stage in this,” he acknowledged.
The NGO Stop AAPI Hate, which examines hate crimes against the Asian community, recalled that in just one year almost 3,800 incidents have been registered and that it is precisely women who suffer disproportionately from these attacks.