At least eight people, including six Asian women, were killed in shootings at three different spas in the US state of Georgia on Tuesday, with a 21-year-old white man in custody on suspicion of staging all three attacks, police said.
The shootings came with many Asian Americans already on edge following a recent spike in hate crimes against the community and triggered immediate fears that Asian-run businesses may have been deliberately singled out.
Four of the victims were killed at Young’s Asian Massage near Acworth, a suburb of Georgia’s capital city Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reported.
Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County sheriff’s office told the paper the victims were two Asian women, a white woman and a white man, while a Hispanic man was wounded.
The Atlanta police department separately confirmed that four women were found dead at two business establishments in northeast Atlanta, identified as the Gold Massage Spa and Aroma Therapy spa.
Police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that all four Atlanta victims were Asian women.
Baker did not say if investigators suspect that Asian Americans were specifically targeted.
“Nothing’s going to be ruled out,” he said. “We’re conducting a homicide, a multiple homicide investigation. So wherever the evidence leads us, that’s where…