Asian American community on edge after deadly shooting in Atlanta

The World
A sign above a roadway is shown for Gold Spa as cars pass by on a rainy afternoon.

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A white, 21-year-old man has been charged with killing eight people, including six Asian women, at several Atlanta-area massage parlors. The gunman faces eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. Police continue to investigate the motive behind the shootings, but the bloody attacks happened against the backdrop of rising violence against Asian Americans across the US.

Georgia Sen. Dr. Michelle Au told The World that Asian American communities are on edge. “The bigger picture is that we've had a huge rise in violent acts, discriminatory acts, against Asian Americans. And in this milieu, having this incident happen in our communities really shakes people to their core and people are scared,” Au said.

The gunman told police that Tuesday’s murders were not racially motivated, but the statement is being received with skepticism given the locations and the fact that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.

Au said hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise for the past year as the coronavirus pandemic hit the US but have been widely underreported. She wants to raise awareness of the magnitude of these types of hate crimes.

“What I would like to do just to start is to raise awareness of it regionally so that we can increase safety for our communities and make it so that people in the community feel safer reporting these incidents,” Au said. “I think that the incidents we have seen are a small fraction of the types of crimes and discriminatory behavior against Asian Americans that are taking place.”

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In case you missed it

Listen: Concerns over a rise in anti-Asian violence after deadly shootings in Atlanta

A police SUV is shown in the nearground with a bright white sign in the distance for an Aromatherapy spa.

Police officials stand in front of a spa after a shooting, in Atlanta, Georgia, March 16, 2021.


Brynn Anderson/AP

Shootings at three Atlanta-area spas last night left eight people dead — six of the victims were Asian women, raising concerns about the growing threat of anti-Asian violence. And, Dublin’s Violet Gibson is the Irishwoman you've probably never heard of who actually shot Benito Mussolini in 1926. Also, socially distanced dancers from the folk dance ensemble Shamrock Bhangra shake their stuff in front of the famous manor Castletown House in County Kildare, Ireland.

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