On the evening of Mar. 16, 2021, eight people were killed and one injured in shootings by a single gunman across three Atlanta-area spas.
So far, authorities have released the names of those killed in the first shooting, which took place at Young’s Asian Massage spa. They are Xiaojie Tan, 49, Daoyou Feng, 44, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, 33 and Paul Andre Michels, 54.
Of the eight people killed on Tuesday, six were Asian women.
Investigators have not said the murders were hate crimes, though the matter of motive is under investigation. According to authorities, the gunman claimed he was motivated by a “sexual addiction.”
The 21-year-old has since been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of assault.
The shootings come as instances of anti-Asian violence are on the rise: a new study of police department statistics shows that, despite hate crimes dropping overall by 7 percent, hate crimes against Asian Americans rose by nearly 150 percent in 2020.
A report released by Stop AAPI Hate revealed that there have been at least 3,795 hate incidents targeting the AAPI community from March 19, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021, following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 500 of those incidences occurred in 2021.
According to The New York Times, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, “Whatever the motivation was for this guy, we know that the majority of the victims were Asian. We also know that this is an issue that is happening across the country. It is unacceptable, it is hateful and it has to stop.”
On March 17, community members and faith leaders gather in Los Angeles for a “Stop Asian Hate” vigil in honor of victims of the Atlanta-area shootings.
Here, people gather for a candlelight vigil in L.A. on March 17.
Shelby Swan adjusts flowers and signs outside Youngs Asian Massage on March 17.
Flowers are left at the front of Youngs Asian Massage spa.
A man pauses in silence as he visits a memorial in front of Gold Spa on March 17.
A woman holds a sign reading “#STOPASIANHATE” at a vigil in Washington, D.C., in response to the Atlanta spa shootings on March 17.
Activists participate in a vigil in in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C., on March 17.
A woman and child pause at the memorial at Gold Spa on March 17.
A couple brings flowers and pauses to offer prayers at the memorial at Gold Spa on March 17.
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