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Suspect in Atlanta Spa Killings Charged with Murder Amid Surge in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

HeadlineMar 18, 2021

The suspected gunman in Tuesday’s attacks on three Atlanta-area spas has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. Seven of the victims were women, six of them of Asian descent. The suspect is a white man. In a press conference Wednesday, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Captain Jay Baker said 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long’s killing spree was not racially motivated and instead stemmed from his “sex addiction.”

Capt. Jay Baker: “And he was pretty much fed up and had been kind of at the end of his rope. And yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.”

California Democratic Congressmember Ted Lieu tweeted in response, “All of us have experienced bad days. But we don’t go to three Asian businesses and shoot up Asian employees.” Congressmember Lieu says he does not have confidence in the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department and called on the FBI to conduct its own independent investigation. This comes as BuzzFeed News reports Captain Baker posted racist, anti-Chinese images and comments on social media in 2020.
Since Tuesday’s attack, memorials for the victims have been held nationwide.

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