What We Know About the Atlanta-Area Massage Parlor Shootings

Eight people—including six Asian women—were killed.

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Eight people, including six Asian women, were killed late Tuesday after a gunman opened fire inside three massage parlors in the Atlanta metro area. Authorities have yet to identify a motive, but the shootings, which happened within the span of one hour of each other, immediately sparked fears of a racially motivated hate crime. 

Following a police chase, a suspect, 21-year-old Aaron Long, a white man, was arrested about three hours away from where the first shooting occurred. The gunman, officials said in a press conference Wednedsay morning, had “made indicators that he has some issues, potentially a sexual addiction” that suggest he may have previously frequented the businesses. Long was allegedly on his way to Florida “perhaps to carry out additional shootings,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told reporters. 

Reports on Long’s social media presence show that he embraced guns and religion. The Daily Beast reported on one Instagram comment apparently written by Long that read, “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life.” The FBI is now assisting local investigations into the rampage.

Multiple Asian advocacy groups have condemned the killings, which come amid a surge of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic. 

President Joe Biden, who denounced the recent wave of anti-Asian violence in his first primetime address last week, has been briefed on the shootings, the White House announced Wednesday morning.

This is a developing story. We’ll have more as updates come in.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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