March 16, 2021:
On the evening of March 16, 2021, a man opened fire in three separate spas in Atlanta, Georgia, killing eight people–six of whom were Asian women. This event coincided with an uptick of anti-Asian sentiments in the United States over the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there have been no charges of a hate crime.
The perpetrator, 21-year-old Robert Long, had legally purchased a 9mm handgun only hours before the shooting. At approximately 5:54 pm, police received the first calls reporting a shooting at Young’s Asian Massage, where two people were fatally shot and three others were wounded; two of which would later die while in the hospital. Nearly an hour later and thirty miles away, police responded to reports of a robbery at Gold Massage Spa, where three women were found fatally shot. While police were responding to the incident at Gold Massage Spa, reports of another shooting came in from Aromatherapy Spa across the street. There they found another woman fatally shot. (CNN)
Police were able to identify Long using surveillance footage from the spas and with help from Long’s parents. Authorities were able to locate him using the equipped tracking device on Long’s vehicle, 150 miles south of Atlanta at 8:30 pm. (Washington Post)
According to authorities, Long described the spas as “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” He had been a part of a program called HopeQuest aimed to treat sex and pornography addiction. (Washington Post)
Long has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.
8 fatalities; 1 injury
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- Impact of Mass Shootings on Gun Policy
- Firearms, Extreme Risk, and Legal Design: ‘Red Flag’ Laws and Due Process
- Reported Increase in Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans [March 2, 2021]
- MOCA Teahouse Reading Club: Surging Violence Against Asian Americans