WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Law enforcement officials across cities in the US were on alert following the shooting spree in Georgia that killed at least eight people.
- Six people who died were Asian women, leading authorities to look into ‘racial’ issue as the cause of the killing.
- Local and state officials have condemned the incident.
Amid fears of a possible series of shootings that would target Asian Americans, law enforcement officials nationwide are on alert after Tuesday’s shooting spree in Georgia, which killed eight people.
Six of the victims were Asian women, building a premise among authorities that it could be a ‘racial’ motive.
Police arrested a 21-year-old man named Robert Aaron Long from Woodstock, Georgia. Long’s vehicle was caught on cam during a shooting scene. He’s currently in police custody.
The three shootings, which were believed to have been initiated by a lone perpetrator, started at around 5 pm at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor near a rural area of Acworth, Cherokee County, located in the northern part of Atlanta.
Almost an hour later, another shooting happened in the Buckhead community of the city. Police found three dead women at Gold Spa, who died from gunshot wounds. While they were on the scene, authorities received another shooting report just across the street and found another woman who was killed.
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms lauded the police efforts on Wednesday morning, thanking the cops for their “quick work.”
“A crime against any community is a crime against us all,” she said, adding that her “prayers are with the families and friends of the victims whose lives were cut short by these shootings.”
Bottoms also said that she was already coordinating with the White House and the city police as they “investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city.”
Atlanta police already boosted their patrolling in the area. Law enforcement authorities were also deployed in several nearby places for monitoring and security.
In a statement on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden was briefed overnight about the shootings. White House officials were now working with the FBI and Bottom’s office.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken, who was currently in Seoul to discuss Asian foreign policy, said that he was “horrified” by the incident. Four of the people killed were of Korean ethnicity, as Blinken said that such violence “has no place in America or anywhere.”
In New York city, the police department said that it was monitoring the shooting incidents as they plan to place additional cops in Asian communities across New York “out of an abundance of caution.”
In Seattle, officials said that they added reinforcements on Asian Americans and community organization places citywide.
In a joint statement, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan and city chief of police Adrian Diaz said that the brutal shootings were an “act of hate.”
In his public address last week, Biden denounced the rising attacks against Asian Americans, saying that it was “wrong” and “un-American.”
Source: The Guardian