President Joe Biden on Wednesday addressed the spa shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, saying he understands the concern among Asian Americans as investigators work to determine a motive.
“Whatever the motivation here, I know Asian Americans, they are very concerned, because as you know I have been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans, and it’s troubling,” Biden said.
Biden said that he had spoken on the phone Wednesday with the attorney general and the FBI director and that a motive for the shootings was still being determined.
A gunman shot and killed eight people at three massage spa parlors in the Atlanta area on Tuesday night, and six of the victims were women of Asian decent. Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said that after a brief manhunt, Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested and later confessed to the attack.
Baker said in a news conference Wednesday that Long claimed that the attack was not racially motivated. Baker said that Long told investigators that he had a “sex addiction” and that he saw the spas as “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” Law enforcement officials said Long was believed to have previously visited the spas he targeted.
Anti-Asian hate incidents have dramatically increased during the pandemic, with a disproportionate number of attacks directed at women.
(read more at nbcnews.com)