Olivia Munn, Daniel Dae Kim, Mindy Kaling and Lulu Wang were among celebrities to speak out following Tuesday’s horrific shooting in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
The stars voiced their support for the Asian American community after it was reported eight people had died, the majority of them women of Asian descent, in shootings at three different spas.
— o l i v i a (@oliviamunn) March 17, 2021
The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem. And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity. #StopAsianHate https://t.co/0QaLoXhtP0
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) March 17, 2021
I know these women. The ones working themselves to the bone to send their kids to school, to send money back home. In too much pain to know what else to say so I’ll just leave this here. https://t.co/Dz7wKkbADy
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) March 17, 2021
The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) March 17, 2021
Feeling overwhelming grief at the senseless murder of 8 people in Atlanta. Still much we don't know, but it's clear to me that the shooter specifically targeted Asian women.
Praying for the victims' families, and for my Asian sisters. Action to follow.https://t.co/DjMcG0sBbv
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) March 17, 2021
My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa. Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!! 🙏🏾❤️👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 17, 2021
Three days ago, the leader of the House GOP called it the “China Virus” again.
Words have consequences, especially those from our leaders.
Reporters: Ask politicians who trade in racism if they feel responsible or remorseful for violence committed in the wake of their words.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 17, 2021
After 9/11, Sikhs were targeted and murdered because of their skin color and garb.
After COVID-19, Asians are murdered and targeted because of their skin color and look.
When the uneducated and uninformed need a target for their misplaced anger, they will find it without fail.
— Jimmy Wong (@jfwong) March 17, 2021
My heart goes out to the families and communities of the eight people murdered at metro-Atlanta spas. I am deeply saddened that we live in a nation and world permeated by hate and violence. I stand with Asian members of our World House, who are a part of our global human family.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) March 17, 2021
A disgusting and disturbing example of how the spread of domestic terrorism has been allowed to torment communities.
These acts are the visible manifestation of hateful words birthing hateful acts!
— NAACP (@NAACP) March 17, 2021
This escalation of attacks on Asian Americans is horrifying. STOP IT. Stop this sickness America. Stop this brutality.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 17, 2021
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 17, 2021
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) March 17, 2021
Absolutely horrible. Sending love to all the loved ones of those whose lives were taken. Our nation needs to reckon with the increased threats being directed at our Asian-American brothers and sisters. https://t.co/52DCKPeDOt
— John Legend (@johnlegend) March 17, 2021
The shootings took place at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs Tuesday evening. A 21-year-old man suspected in the shootings was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt, police said.
The attacks began around 5 p.m., when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor in a strip mall near a rural area in Acworth, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Atlanta, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said. Two people died at the scene and three were transported to a hospital where two of them also died, Baker said.
No one was arrested at the scene.
Around 5:50 p.m., police in the Buckhead neighbourhood of Atlanta, responding to a call of a robbery in progress, found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at Gold Spa. While they were at that scene, they learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found a woman who appeared to have been shot dead inside the business.
“It appears that they may be Asian,” Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that its diplomats in Atlanta have confirmed from police that four of the victims who died were women of Korean descent. The ministry said the office of its Consulate General in Atlanta is trying to confirm the nationality of the women.
The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.
“Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence,” Gov. Brian Kemp said Tuesday evening on Twitter.
A man suspected in the Acworth shooting was captured by surveillance video pulling up to the business around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, minutes before the attack, authorities said. Baker said the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, was taken into custody in Crisp County, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of Atlanta.
Baker said they believe Long is also the suspect in the Atlanta shootings.
Police said video footage showed the suspect’s vehicle in the area of the Atlanta spas about the time of those attacks as well. That, as well as other video evidence, “suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County’s, who is in custody,” Atlanta police said in a statement. Atlanta and Cherokee County authorities were working to confirm the cases are related.
FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson said the agency was assisting Atlanta and Cherokee County authorities in the investigation.
Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said in a video posted on Facebook that his deputies and state troopers were notified around 8 p.m. that a murder suspect out of north Georgia was headed toward their county. Deputies and troopers set up along the interstate and “made contact with the suspect,” who was driving a 2007 black Hyundai Tucson, around 8:30 p.m., he said.
A state trooper performed a PIT, or pursuit intervention technique, maneuver, “which caused the vehicle to spin out of control,” Hancock said. Long was then taken into custody “without incident” and was being held in the Crisp County jail for Cherokee County authorities who were expected to arrive soon to continue their investigation.
Due to the shootings, Atlanta police said they dispatched officers to check nearby similar businesses and increased patrols in the area.
ET Canada stands with the Asian community in working together to stop anti-Asian racism in Canada, the United States, and around the world to #StopAsianHate.
Canadians can stay informed by following community groups and leaders, including but not limited to: https://nextshark.com/, https://www.dearasianyouth.org/home, https://www.thepeahceproject.com/ and https://www.asianmhc.org/instagram-partners.
If you or someone you know is experiencing hate-crimes related to xenophobic attacks in Canada you can file a report at: https://www.elimin8hate.org/fileareport.
Bystander intervention training to anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment is available at: ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/.
With files from AP. Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul contributed to this story.