Asian American communities on edge after deadly shootings

By Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:55 p.m. ET, March 19, 2021
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8:55 p.m. ET, March 19, 2021

Fulton County Medical Examiner identifies 4 shooting victims

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos and Devon Sayers

The Fulton County Medical Examiner today released the names of the four women killed in Atlanta during a string of shootings at massage parlors. 

They are:

  • Soon Chung Park, a 74-year-old Asian woman, who died of a gunshot wound to the head
  • Hyun Jung Grant, a 51-year-old Asian woman, who died of a gunshot wound to the head
  • Suncha Kim, a 69-year-old Asian woman, who died of a gunshot wound to the chest
  • Yong Ae Yue, 63-year-old Asian woman, who died of a gunshot wound to the head

Earlier this week, officials in Cherokee County identified the four people killed there: Delaina Yaun, 33, of Acworth; Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta; Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw; and Daoyou Feng, 44. One man, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, survived. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misstated which agency released the victims' identities. It was the Fulton County Medical Examiner. This post also failed to list the full names of three of the victims. It has been updated to include full and correct names for Yong Ae Yue, Hyun Jung Grant and Soon Chung Park.

8:49 a.m. ET, March 19, 2021

Rep. Grace Meng: GOP congressman's comments during hearing on discrimination were "completely insensitive"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Democratic Rep. Grace Meng said Republican Rep. Chip Roy was “completely insensitive” during a House hearing on discrimination against Asian Americans.

Meng yesterday fired back at comments about China made by Roy, saying he was “putting a bull's-eye on the back of Asian Americans across this country.”

During the hearing, in arguing that Americans "deserve justice" for victims, Roy also made a reference to lynching, saying, "there's an old saying in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. You know, we take justice very seriously and we ought to do that, round up the bad guys."

“First of all, it was such a source of comfort to have that acknowledgement that this is a real pain and situation going on in our country. We wanted to have a very honest hearing and to work together to find solutions,” Meng said on CNN’s “New Day.”  

“We talked about legislation. We heard from community members on what resources and support they need. … And that's part of why I was so upset that Mr. Roy just was completely insensitive about the focus and the point of the hearing,” she said. 

Meng said she’s been hearing from constituents who are scared to let their kids go outside due the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. She said former President Trump “empowered this sort of racist behavior” for the past year during the pandemic. 

“Just in the last two weeks, a mom and her baby were taking a walk in the park in the middle of the day. Someone came up to her, spat in her direction three times, calling her the Chinese virus and to go back. Two days ago, a 13-year-old boy was just playing basketball at a local park and a group of people threw basketballs at his head telling him he was a Chinese virus and he should go home,” she said. 


8:47 a.m. ET, March 19, 2021

Atlanta mayor says on spa shootings: "I think it's difficult to see it as anything other than a hate crime"

From CNN's Gisela Crespo 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN last night she thinks that Tuesday's spa shootings were a hate crime. 

"It looked like a hate crime to me," Bottoms said during an interview on Anderson Cooper 360. "This was targeted at Asian spas. Six of the women who were killed were Asian so it's difficult to see it as anything but that."

Bottoms added, "There are many areas of hate that are covered within the definition of a hate crime," later adding, "I think it's difficult to see it as anything other than a hate crime." 

The mayor said she's spent the past days reaching out to members of the Asian community in Atlanta "to make sure we have all of the information we need to make sure that our communities are protected," adding the dialogue will continue. 

The 21-year-old suspect, Robert Aaron Long, is in custody in relation to the shootings in Cherokee County, Georgia and the two others in Atlanta. In total, eight people — including six Asian women — died in the three shootings.

Long claimed responsibility for the shooting in Cherokee County, where he faces four counts of murder and a charge of aggravated assault, according to the county sheriff's office. He also has been charged with more four counts of murder, Atlanta Police Department said.


8:13 a.m. ET, March 19, 2021

Biden and Harris will meet with Asian American leaders in Georgia today

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Biden and Vice President Harris are heading to Georgia today

The trip that had previously been planned to promote their Covid-19 relief package. But the White House's plan to promote the package took a somber turn after a rampage here this week killed eight people — including six women of Asian descent.

White House officials ended up canceling a planned evening rally intended to help explain the benefits of the law.

The President and vice president are instead set to meet with Asian American leaders. Still, the White House has stopped short of calling the shootings a hate crime, despite calls to do so.