Eight dead in Atlanta shootings

The shootings are currently being investigated as a hate crime against Asian Americans

Ashley Kaeser-Crowe, Managing Editor

Robert Aaron Long was arrested Tuesday night for the shooting of three spa businesses in Atlanta Georgia. Eight victims in total were caught in the open fire late Tuesday afternoon and early evening. The first shootings were at a business northwest of Atlanta followed by two more at spas in northeastern Atlanta.

According to CCN, Robert Long was being held Wednesday in Cherokee County on four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. Before Wednesday the shootings were suspected as a hate crime connected to the rise in Anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, as six of the eight victims were Asian, and seven were women. This theory was put into question when claims that the crime was instead related to the suspect’s potential sex addiction. Long told investigators that the spas were temptations to his addictions and he wanted to eliminate them.

President Joe Biden and White House officials have been involved with the current investigation and Wednesday it was announced by White House Press Secretary Jen Paski that the police have issued no official motive for the shootings. Despite the debatable involvement of Anti-Asian motives and the continuation of the investigation people from all across the country have started to speak up about the importance of protecting the Asian community. Organizations such as the ACLU and a number of celebrity activists have come out in support of the AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islander) community and explicitly label the shootings as a hate crime.

Later today, a House Judiciary panel will hold a hearing on rising anti-Asian discrimination. Additionally, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with leaders in Asian-American communities on Friday.