At least eight people, including six women of Asian descent, have been killed in three separate shootings in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to police, four people were killed in an attack on a massage parlor in a suburb of Atlanta. At the same time, the other four deaths occurred in two similar massage parlors in the city.
South Korea has confirmed that four of the dead were from its own country.
Authorities say a 21-year-old man has been taken into custody and is thought to have killed everyone.
No motive has been identified for the attacks.
Hate crimes against people of Asian descent have risen sharply in recent days in the United States. One reason for this is the rumors that Asians spread the Coronavirus.
In a speech last week, US President Joe Biden strongly condemned the campaign against Asian Americans, saying the community had been “attacked, harassed and blamed.
The first shooting took place at 5 pm local time at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor.
According to local sheriff’s spokesman Capt Jay Baker, two people died on the spot, and three were taken to hospital, where two more died. He said the dead included two women of Asian descent and one, a white man and a woman. A Hispanic man was injured in the incident.
About an hour later, police received a call for a robbery from northeast Atlanta and found three women’s bodies on the spot. All three were shot dead.
Police officers were on the scene when a call came from the Aromatherapy Spa on the other side of the road. A woman’s body was recovered.
According to local media, police say all the women killed in Atlanta were of Asian descent.
Investigators released CCTV footage of the suspect and found Robert Erin Long, a resident of Georgia.
According to Captain Baker, investigators believed Erin was involved in the attacks on the three massage parlors. However, it is too early to say whether the women were targeted because of their race or for some other reason.
Tweeted attorney Ben Crump, known for representing black victims of police brutality, Today’s tragic deaths in Atlanta reaffirm the need to act and protect all marginalized minorities in America from racism.