Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed in three shootings in massage parlours in and around the city of Atlanta, in the south eastern United States, which encourages theories that the killer had a racist motive.
The killings came at a time when an increasing number of attacks on Americans of Asian descent across the country have been recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea announced yesterday that their diplomats in Atlanta received a confirmation from the police that four women of Korean origin were killed.
The consequences of divisions, racism and negative campaigns are still present and the question is how long it will take until they are eradicated.
Cherokee County Police posted on Facebook a video of the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, in a black car. He was reportedly arrested about 240 kilometers south of Atlanta and is in custody.
"It is very likely that Long took part in all three attacks on massage parlours in Atlanta," said a spokesman for the police in that city, stating that, according to surveillance camera footage, his vehicle was filmed in front of all three salons.
The first shooting happened at 5 pm on Tuesday, when five people were shot in a massage parlour in a shopping center in the Cherokee district, about 50 kilometers north of Atlanta, the largest city in the state of Georgia. According to the spokesperson of the local district sheriff, Jay Baker, two people died on the spot, and three were transported to the hospital, where two of them succumbed to their injuries. The next shooting happened at 5.50 pm when the police in the settlement of Buckhead in Atlanta, after the call, went to the place where they found three women who died from gunshot wounds in the "Gold Spa" salon. There, as it is stated, they were informed about the shooting in another salon near where one woman was killed.
The Facebook profile of the suspect Long was blocked on Tuesday night, and a video from 2018, which was first published by the Daily Beast and shows him in his local church, was previously removed from it. The media report that the suspect Long is the son of a priest and that he was an excellent student. He finished school in 2017, and his school friends say that he was deeply religious, a member of the Baptist church, and that he seemed like an "innocent child" and a nerd. He never swore, they say, nor did he show anything violent. "He was a hunter, and his father was a priest who worked with young people. He was very committed to religion, "said one of his friends from school. The church to which he belonged announced that their "hearts were broken" because of these events, to pray for the victims, as well as the family of the suspect.
Hatred and blindness obviously don't care if someone is religious when it comes to crime. One should especially ask what "purity" and "service to God" mean by some religious organizations. Maybe removing different?