Police continue to investigate Tuesday’s shooting in Georgia that left eight people dead.
Six of the victims were of Asian descent and seven were women.
Police said 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long suspected in the shootings was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt.
Local leaders in the Asian American community fear crimes against Asians may happen closer to home.
Duc Abrahamason, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, said it’s everyone’s job to stand up to racism.
“I believe it’s important for everyone to consider the impact of their words and actions on this country’s estimated 21 million Asian American Pacific Islanders, to not tolerate aggression in the workplace in the public arena. Hate against some of us, hurts all of us,” Abrahamason said.
Long told police that Tuesday’s attack was not racially motivated and claimed to have a “sex addiction,” with authorities saying he apparently lashed out at what he saw as sources of temptation. His parents called police after authorities posted his photo, helping lead to his capture.
Authorities said it was too early to tell if the attack was racially motivated — “but the indicators right now are it may not be.”
Police didn’t know if Long ever went to the massage parlors where the shootings occurred but that he was heading to Florida to attack “some type of porn industry.”
The attack was the sixth mass killing this year in the U.S., and the deadliest since the August 2019 Dayton, Ohio, shooting that left nine people dead, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.
It follows a lull in mass killings during the pandemic in 2020, which had the smallest number of such attacks in more than a decade, according to the database, which tracks mass killings defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter.