ATLANTA (AP) — A series of shootings over nearly an hour at three Atlanta area massage parlors left eight people dead and raised fears that the attack was yet another hate crime against people of Asian descent.
Police arrested a 21-year-old Georgia man and said the motive wasn’t immediately known, though many of the victims were women of Asian descent.
The attacks began Tuesday evening, when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor in Acworth, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Atlanta, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said. Two people died at the scene, and three were taken to a hospital where two died, Baker said.
About an hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at Gold Spa in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, which is home to many tattoo parlors and strip clubs. While there, the officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found a woman who appeared to have been shot dead.
“It appears that they may be Asian,” Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said.