8 killed in shootings at Atlanta-area spas

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:47 a.m. ET, March 18, 2021
12 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:44 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

Atlanta Police Chief says it's too early to determine if shootings were a hate crime

WXIA
WXIA

Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said investigators are not ready to say yet whether or not the shootings are being considered as a hate crime. "We are still early in this investigation, so we cannot make that determination at this moment," the chief said at a press conference today.

He continued: "Again, we are very early in this investigation. Even though we've made an arrest, there's still a lot more work to be done."

“I know that that's going to be a concern and that you're probably asking that of many of us, we're just not there, as of yet.”

The press conference is ongoing.

 

10:37 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

NOW: Officials give an update on the Atlanta-area spa shootings

WSB
WSB

Atlanta Mayor mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant and other officials are now giving an update on Tuesday night's spa shootings in the Atlanta area.

Eight people – including six Asian women – were shot dead at three metro Atlanta spas. One suspect is in custody, authorities said. 

10:51 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

Homeland Security secretary declines to comment on Atlanta-area shooting investigation

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that he "won't comment on the tragedy" in the Atlanta are because it is under investigation, but he did say domestic violence extremism is the greatest threat of terrorism the US is facing.

"We are intensely focused the greatest threat we face in the homeland from the terrorist perspective, as I mentioned at the onset, and that is domestic violence extremism and that is violence that is motivated by different ideologies including ideologies of hate against particular social groups," Mayorkas said in response to a question by Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee during testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee.

Mayorkas said in his opening statement that "the most significant terrorist threat facing our nation comes from lone offenders and small groups of individuals who commit acts of violence."

He said added these ideologies are spread "by false narratives, conspiracy theories, and extremist rhetoric usually spread through social media and other online platforms."

11:11 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

Hillary Clinton calls violence against Asian Americans "a growing crisis"

From CNN’s Amanda Watts and Allison Gordon 

Hillary Clinton is seen at a rally in 2016.
Hillary Clinton is seen at a rally in 2016. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State and 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said the “surge in violence against Asian Americans over the last year is a growing crisis.” 

In a Wednesday tweet, Clinton said she is “sending prayers today to the families of the people killed and those injured in Atlanta’s horrific attacks.” 

 

On Tuesday, eight people – including six Asian women – were shot dead at three metro Atlanta spas. One suspect is in custody, authorities said. 

Remember: Police have not yet offered a motive in the bloody attacks, but because of many of the victims' backgrounds, some public officials and organizations have raised concerns that ethnicity came into play.

Tuesday's shootings also come against a backdrop of an increase in violence against Asian Americans nationwide.

10:17 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

FBI and Justice Department heads will brief Biden on the Atlanta-area attacks later today

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the attorney general and the FBI director will brief President Biden on the Tuesday shootings at Atlanta-area spas.

“Later this morning, the President will be briefed over the phone by Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray on the horrific shootings last night in Atlanta," she said.

At least eight people were killed— including six Asian women — in the attacks at three Atlanta-area spas.

9:58 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

Asian Pacific women's group says it's "appalled and devastated" by Atlanta-area shootings 

From CNN's Amanda Watts

The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum said they are “appalled and devastated” by the shootings around Atlanta on Tuesday. 

Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued a statement on Wednesday:

“We are appalled and devastated at the violence in Georgia that has taken eight lives, six of whom were Asian American women. We mourn with the families of these victims. We are horrified and continue to be concerned for the safety of our community members across the country as violence toward Asian Americans has escalated.” 

Remember: Police have not yet offered a motive in the bloody attacks, but because six of the eight victims were Asian women, some public officials and organizations have raised concerns that ethnicity came into play. Tuesday's shootings also come against a backdrop of an increase in violence against Asian Americans nationwide.

Choimorrow said that anti-Asian hate and violence disproportionately impacts women.

“New polling commissioned by NAPAWF has revealed that nearly half of Asian American and Pacific Islander women have been affected by anti-Asian racism in the past two years. This comes as no surprise,” she said. 

In the NAPAWF statement, one woman who was using the pseudonym Ms. N because of safety concerns said, “You go to work and you’re trying to earn money, and you have your family to feed and you’re just trying to survive and be like everyone else. And then stuff like this happens and it’s so scary. I am a part of the Vietnamese immigrant community, and I fear for our safety.”   

9:27 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

Atlanta police will give an update on the shootings at 10:30 a.m. ET

The Atlanta Police Department will hold a press conference about last night's spa shootings today at 10:30 a.m. ET. 

What we know so far: Of the eight people who were shot dead at three metro Atlanta massage parlors on Tuesday, six were Asian women.

While police have not yet offered a motive in the bloody attacks, but the shootings come against a backdrop of an increase in violence against Asian Americans nationwide.

Police say video evidence has led them to believe the same suspect, Robert Aaron Long, is responsible for all three shootings. Long, 21, was apprehended in Crisp County, Georgia, around 8:30 p.m. ET. The county is about 150 miles south of Atlanta.

9:17 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

Atlanta mayor says she has been in touch with the White House after the spa shootings

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Wednesday that she has been in touch with the White House about Tuesday’s string of shootings at metro-Atlanta area spas. 

“I commend law enforcement for their quick work in arresting a suspect in the tragic shootings on yesterday. A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all. I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city,” Bottoms said in a statement Wednesday. 

Bottoms said her prayers were with the families of the victims.

9:04 a.m. ET, March 17, 2021

Have you experienced anti-Asian racism during the pandemic? Tell us your story.

Six of the eight people who were shot dead at three metro Atlanta massage parlors on Tuesday were Asian women.

While police have not yet offered a motive in the bloody attacks, but the shootings come against a backdrop of an increase in violence against Asian Americans nationwide.

If you've experienced anti-Asian racism during the pandemic, we want to hear from you. Share your story in the form below: