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Victims of the spa shootings highlight the vulnerability of working-class Asian women as more Asian Americans get attacked




“Only this fact highlights the vulnerability, invisibility and isolation of working class Asian women in our country,” Nguyen said at a news conference on Thursday.

“When they disappear or die, the loss of life will not incite the same kind of anger. And they will not even be treated with the same humanity,” he said.

“And in this case, they have been characterized as a problem that needed to be eliminated.”

Authorities have yet to confirm the motive for the shootings at three Atlanta resorts, which killed eight people, including six Asian women. A suspect is in custody.

Atlanta Deputy Chief of Police Charles Hampton Jr. said Wednesday that the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, frequented the two Atlanta spas and bought the weapon used in the shooting on the day of the incident.

President Joe Biden ordered flags to be hoisted at half-staff on Thursday to honor the victims. Biden also plans to visit Atlanta on Friday to meet with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, as well as Asian American and Pacific Island leaders, according to Georgia State Representative Bee Nguyen.

Among the issues they will address is concern that the shootings be “taken seriously” and taken seriously as a hate crime against Asians and not dismissed as a suspect who has a “bad day,” Nguyen said.

Traits are part of hostility towards Asian Americans

In the United States, Asian Americans are full of fear unprovoked attacks against them intensify.
Anti-Asian hate crimes have more than doubled during the pandemic, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
Violence has grown in the middle racist rhetoric during the coronavirus pandemic, some popularized by former President Donald Trump. Many Asian Americans have been the target of vitriol over the “China virus” or the “kung flu,” even those who have never been to Asia.
Asian American communities are on the brink after the deadly shots on Tuesday.

“I think that took him to another extreme,” said Hanna Kim, a professor in Novi, Michigan.

Actress Lucy Liu said Erin Burnett, of CNN Thursday he believes racial relations will get worse before they can improve.

“I think culturally we’re not a people who talk and talk about being victims and I think that’s something we learn” from previous generations, Liu said.

Bottoms told CNN today “now it looks like there’s permission to be hateful.” He has spent the last few days contacting members of the Asian community in Atlanta “to make sure we have all the information we need to make sure our communities are protected,” adding that the dialogue will continue.

“There seems to be a permit I haven’t seen, at least in my life,” Bottoms said. “He predates Donald Trump, but he has certainly given permission and done his part to raise hatred.”

Kim, a 24-year-old Korean American, said she often feels she has a target on her back. Last year he said a parent wanted to take one of his students out of second grade because Kim was Asian.

“Will people tell me things?” Kim said she often wonders. “Will people avoid me because they think for some reason I’ll be the one to spread the virus?”

Still, despite outrage over the shootings, attacks on Asian Americans continue.

An Asian man and woman they were attacked Wednesday by the same suspect in separate attacks, San Francisco police said. Researchers are trying to determine if bias was a motivating factor in the attack.

“Although we are relieved, the suspect was quickly arrested, we are certainly not at peace, as this attack still points to a threat that is increasingly felt in the Asian American community,” said Margaret Huang, president and general manager of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

What we know about the victims

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth; Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta; Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw; and Daoyou Feng, 44, were fatally shot at Youngs Asian Massage in Cherokee County.

A trip to the spa that ended in death.  These are some of the victims of the shootings in the Atlanta area

Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, of Acworth, was also shot at the spa but survived.

Three more victims were found dead at the Gold Massage Spa in Atlanta and another victim was found dead on Aroma Therapy Spa Street.

The names of these four victims have not yet been released by authorities.

Three of the victims were 52, 75 and 64 years old, according to the years of birth listed in an Atlanta police incident report.

“We need to make sure we have a true verification of their identities and that we do the proper notification of the closest relatives,” Hampton said Wednesday.

What we know about the suspect

Llarg, 21, he faces eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

Long was on his way to Florida, possibly to end the lives of more victims, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, citing investigators.

What we know about Robert Aaron Long, the suspect in the Atlanta shootings

The suspect told police he believed he had a sex addiction and saw the spas as “a temptation … that he wanted to eliminate,” Cherokee County Sheriff’s Captain Jay Baker said.

But Atlanta police chief Rodney Bryant said it’s still too early to know a reason.

It is unclear whether any of the three companies offered sexual services in addition to massages. But authorities have given no indication that the three businesses were operating illegally.

Captain Jay Baker said Tuesday that Long “was almost fed up and had been a bit at the end of the rope. Yesterday was a very bad day for him, and that’s what he did.”

Baker is no longer the spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office case investigating the shooting at the spa, the sheriff’s office confirmed to CNN.

CNN has contacted Baker to comment.

Sheriff Frank Reynolds said Thursday in a statement that he had known and worked with Baker for many years and that his comments “were not intended to disrespect any of the victims, nor the seriousness of this tragedy, nor to express empathy or sympathy for the suspect “.

How the attacks unfolded

Shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, deputies were called to Youngs’ Asian massage between the cities of Georgia, Woodstock and Acworth, following reports of a shooting, Cherokee County sheriff’s officials said. .

That shooting left four people (two Asians and two whites) dead and one person injured, Baker said.

About an hour later and 30 miles away, Atlanta police responded to the Gold Massage Spa on Piedmont Road in Atlanta. Police said they found three people dead.

While there, police received another shooting call on Aroma Therapy Spa Street, where they found a dead person, Bryant said.

The names of these four victims have not yet been released by authorities.

Investigators found a surveillance video of a suspect near the Cherokee County scene and posted pictures on social media.

Long’s family saw the pictures, contacted authorities and helped identify him, Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said Wednesday.

“(Family members) are very distressed and were very helpful in this apprehension,” Reynolds said.

“It would be appropriate” for the suspect to be charged with a hate crime, according to the mayor

Long has claimed responsibility for the shootings at spas, the Cherokee County sheriff’s office said.

Fetish, sexualized, and marginalized, Asian women are especially vulnerable to violence

According to the county sheriff’s office, he faces four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. He has also been charged with four counts of murder, the Atlanta police department said.

A law enforcement source told CNN that Long was recently evicted from his family because of his sexual addiction, which, according to the source, included spending many hours watching pornography online.

Bottoms, the Atlanta mayor said CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday believes the shootings were a hate crime.

“It seemed like a hate crime to me,” he said. “This was addressed to Asian spas. Six of the women who died were Asian, so it’s hard to see it as anything less than that.”

“Sex” is one hate crime category under Georgia’s new law. If Long were targeted at women for hating them or atoning for their own problems, it could be a hate crime.

The shootings must not have racial grounds to constitute a hate crime in Georgia.

Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace issued a statement Thursday saying “we are very aware of the feelings of terror being experienced in the Asian-American community.”

“We hear your concerns and want it to be known that these victims will receive the best efforts from this office,” Wallace said. “We plan to begin meeting with the affected families in the near future and gain our trust, as we continue to develop our case against the defendant.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Xiaojie Tan’s last name based on information provided by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

CNN’s Amanda Watts, Stephen Collinson, Audrey Ash, Casey Tolan, Nicquel Ellis, Nicole Chavez, Artemis Moshtaghian, Raja Razek, Jamiel Lynch, and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.