Georgia shootings: Eight people killed in attacks on spas in Atlanta

Eight people- the majority believed to be women of Asian descent -  were killed in shootings at three different spas in the state of Georgia on Tuesday and a 21-year-old male suspect was in custody, US police have said. Four people were killed in a shooting at Young's Asian Massage near Acworth, a suburb of Georgia's capital city Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, citing the Cherokee County sheriff's office. The Atlanta police department separately confirmed that four women were found dead at two business establishments in Atlanta, identified by media as the Gold Massage Spa, and Aroma Therapy spa. "Upon arrival, officers located three females deceased inside the location from apparent gunshot wounds," the police department said in a statement. While on the scene, officers were advised of shots fired across the street, and upon responding they found a fourth woman who appeared to have been shot dead. City of Atlanta police officers are seen outside of Gold Spa after deadly shootings in Atlanta Credit: Reuters Police told CNN told that all four victims in Atlanta appeared to be Asian. Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said the victims "may be Asian". Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt Jay Baker said the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, was taken into custody in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta. A man suspected in the Acworth shooting was captured by surveillance video pulling up to the business around 4.50pm on Tuesday, minutes before the shooting, authorities said. It is "extremely likely" that the same suspect was involved in all three deadly shootings at spas in the US state of Georgia, police told AFP. Video evidence from the shootings at all three spas in the Atlanta area "suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same," an Atlanta police spokesman said, adding that investigators are working closely "to confirm with certainty our cases are related." The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. "Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence," Gov. Brian Kemp said Tuesday evening on Twitter. The New York police department's counterterrorism bureau said it was "monitoring the shooting of Asian Americans in Georgia" and deploying officers "to our great Asian communities across the city out of an abundance of caution," though it added there was no known link to the city. "Today's tragic killings in #Atlanta reaffirm the need for us to step up and protect ALL of America's marginalized minorities from racism," tweeted Ben Crump, a lawyer known for representing several high-profile Black victims of police brutality in the United States in recent years. In an address to the nation last Thursday, President Joe Biden forcefully condemned what he called "vicious hate crimes against Asian-Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated." "It's wrong. It's un-American. And it must stop," he said.

Georgia shootings: Eight people killed in attacks on spas in Atlanta

Eight people- the majority believed to be women of Asian descent -  were killed in shootings at three different spas in the state of Georgia on Tuesday and a 21-year-old male suspect was in custody, US police have said.

Four people were killed in a shooting at Young's Asian Massage near Acworth, a suburb of Georgia's capital city Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, citing the Cherokee County sheriff's office.

The Atlanta police department separately confirmed that four women were found dead at two business establishments in Atlanta, identified by media as the Gold Massage Spa, and Aroma Therapy spa.

"Upon arrival, officers located three females deceased inside the location from apparent gunshot wounds," the police department said in a statement.

While on the scene, officers were advised of shots fired across the street, and upon responding they found a fourth woman who appeared to have been shot dead.

City of Atlanta police officers are seen outside of Gold Spa after deadly shootings in Atlanta Credit: Reuters

Police told CNN told that all four victims in Atlanta appeared to be Asian. Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said the victims "may be Asian".

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt Jay Baker said the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, was taken into custody in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.

A man suspected in the Acworth shooting was captured by surveillance video pulling up to the business around 4.50pm on Tuesday, minutes before the shooting, authorities said.

It is "extremely likely" that the same suspect was involved in all three deadly shootings at spas in the US state of Georgia, police told AFP.

Video evidence from the shootings at all three spas in the Atlanta area "suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same," an Atlanta police spokesman said, adding that investigators are working closely "to confirm with certainty our cases are related."

The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

"Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence," Gov. Brian Kemp said Tuesday evening on Twitter.

The New York police department's counterterrorism bureau said it was "monitoring the shooting of Asian Americans in Georgia" and deploying officers "to our great Asian communities across the city out of an abundance of caution," though it added there was no known link to the city.

"Today's tragic killings in #Atlanta reaffirm the need for us to step up and protect ALL of America's marginalized minorities from racism," tweeted Ben Crump, a lawyer known for representing several high-profile Black victims of police brutality in the United States in recent years.

In an address to the nation last Thursday, President Joe Biden forcefully condemned what he called "vicious hate crimes against Asian-Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated."

"It's wrong. It's un-American. And it must stop," he said.