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.