WORLD / AMERICAS
Eight killed in Atlanta-area spa shootings
Published: Mar 17, 2021 04:28 PM
People take part in a rally against anti-Asian hate crimes in San Mateo, California, the United States, Feb. 27, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

People take part in a rally against anti-Asian hate crimes in San Mateo, California, the United States, Feb. 27, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Eight people, six of whom were Asian women, were killed in shootings at three different spas in the US state of Georgia Tuesday, with a 21-year-old man in custody on suspicion of staging all three attacks, police said.

The shootings came with many Asian-Americans already on edge following a recent spike in hate crimes against the community, and triggered immediate fears that Asian-run businesses may have been deliberately targeted.

Four of the victims were killed at Young's Asian Massage near Acworth, a suburb of Georgia's capital city Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County sheriff's office told the paper the victims were two Asian women, a white woman, and a white man, while a Hispanic man was wounded.

The Atlanta police department separately confirmed that four women were found dead at two business establishments in northeast Atlanta, identified as the Gold Massage Spa and Aroma Therapy spa.

Police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that all four Atlanta victims were Asian women.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported the country's foreign ministry had confirmed that four of the victims were of Korean descent.

Authorities have identified Robert Aaron Long as a suspect in all three shootings.

Based on the surveillance video from the shooting scenes, Atlanta police spokesman Sergeant John Chafee told AFP: "It is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County's, who is in custody."

Long was taken into custody after a "brief pursuit" about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from Atlanta, according to a statement by the Georgia Department of Safety on Facebook.

AFP
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