Speaking after a meeting with public officials and Asian American leaders in Atlanta, President Biden and Vice President Harris denounced Tuesday’s mass shooting that killed eight people — six of them of Asian descent — as well as the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans.

Harris, whose mother was from India, and who is the first woman and the first Black and Asian American person elected vice president, recounted the long history of discrimination against people of Asian descent in the United States, from laws forbidding Chinese railroad workers from owning property in the 1860s to the forced internment of Japanese Americans in camps during World War II.

Here’s what to know:

  • The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office on Friday released the names of the four victims killed at Gold Massage Spa and Aromatherapy Spa: Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; and Hyun Jung Grant, 51.
  • A GoFundMe campaign started by Grant’s son, Randy Park, raised more than $1.5 million from 37,000 donors in the 19 hours since it was launched.
  • Sex worker advocates and anti-sex-trafficking groups worry that the Asian women who worked at the three massage businesses could be dehumanized by the media and investigators.
  • Korean American community leaders in Atlanta raised concerns about statements and Facebook posts made by a police spokesman.
  • The longtime church of suspected shooter Robert Aaron Long condemned him in a lengthy statement Friday morning, saying he had committed an “extreme and wicked act.”
  • There were nine shot and eight dead at three locations. This is how the shootings unfolded and law enforcement responded on a chaotic and tragic day.
2:01 a.m.
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Perspective: Things I do not need to hear about a shooter ever again

An incomplete list of things I do not ever need to hear or read about a shooter again, especially one who targets women:

I do not need to hear that he “snapped,” “lost it” or “had a bad day.”

After he has taken the lives of six or eight or 14 other people, I am not inclined to care what kind of day he had.

I do not particularly care whether his family was shocked.

I do not particularly care whether he did not resist arrest.

Did the shooter previously abuse a girlfriend or harass a colleague? That information is pertinent.

1:30 a.m.
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Women who work at Asian spas are reeling from the attacks: ‘It’s scary’

When Olivia Li saw the news about the shootings at three Asian spas in the Atlanta area on Tuesday, she felt fear. Although she was more than 700 miles away in a Chicago suburb, Li saw similarities between her own life and the spas where an alleged lone gunman shot and killed eight people.

Like her, six of the eight victims were Asian women. Like her, at least one of them owned and worked at her own spa. Like her business, Asian Essence Spa in Lombard, Ill., the spas in Georgia are located largely in strip malls. Li’s business shares a building with a sandwich shop and a printing center.

“It’s scary,” Li, 37, says of the shootings. “It’s horrible for all of my workers.”

When Li, who is Chinese and emigrated from Beijing four years ago, first heard of the killings, she says she called a friend of hers in Georgia who works at an Asian spa five minutes from the location of one of the shootings. Li told her not to go to work. She says her friend is shaken and probably will not return to the spa until next month.

12:45 a.m.
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After Atlanta shootings, Democratic attorneys general encourage people to report hate crimes

A trio of Democratic attorneys general on Friday encouraged people to report hate crimes they’ve either been victims of or witnessed, saying a lack of reporting hampers their efforts to do more to prevent attacks such as this week’s Atlanta-area spa killings.

Hate crimes are generally underreported, though the rise in incidents targeting Asian Americans show the problem is increasing, said Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who convened an online panel about the issue with District Attorney General Karl A. Racine and Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

“This rise in violence and hate against Asian Americans that has coincided with the covid pandemic in the last year has to stop,” Herring said. “It is something that is way, way underreported.”

Tong, who is Chinese American, said many Asian Americans feel powerless against attacks, adding that there is a long history of being targeted that stretches back to the Japanese internment camps during World War II and the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 19th century, which was meant to stop Chinese immigration.

He recounted his own brushes with online hate after being elected attorney general in 2018.

“People called me the `Manchurian AG.’ ” Tong said. “Just yesterday, somebody accused me of being an agent for the Chinese Communist Party. Folks, I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, thank you very much.”

While many incidents do go unreported, the available statistics show an overall increase in hate-related incidents in recent years, said Racine, blaming former president Donald Trump’s often nativist rhetoric for the trend.

Between 2015 and 2018, the number of reported hate incidents in D.C. more than tripled to 218, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the FBI. But such reports slightly dropped during the same period in Virginia and Connecticut, to 143 and 81, respectively.

Racine said there is an absence of will to report hate incidents and an absence of resources available to collect the data.

“Believe me, underreporting is utilized by those who benefit from hate who downplay the existence of it,” he said.

12:00 a.m.
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Colleagues of spa victim’s son recall loving mother who visited him at bakery

The Atlanta spa shootings have hit hard at the Tree Story Bakery and Cafe in Duluth, Ga., where Randy Park is a dedicated employee. He is also the son of one of the victims, Hyun Jung Grant, 51, who was fatally shot at Gold Spa on Tuesday.

Agnes Kim, the bakery’s owner, said she found out about Grant’s death at about 11 p.m. Tuesday. Speaking through an interpreter, Kim recalled that Park called and said his mother had passed away, but when asked if Grant had died in the shootings, he said yes.

Kim said that Grant, whom she did not know well, occasionally stopped by the bakery and appeared to be a doting mother who would ask Kim to look after her son and give him a ride home when she could.

“Randy was a very hard-working person who really cared about his mom and really thought she was a very hard worker,” Kim said. “He was very upset that she would have to work so much for him and his younger brother.”

Kim and her employees have been donating to the GoFundMe page that Park created Thursday, which has raised more than $1.5 million in less than 24 hours.

One donor is Isaac Cho, who works with Randy at the bakery. He remembered Grant’s occasional visits.

“I could see the joy in her eyes every time she would see him working,” Cho said. “I could tell from that that she was a very loving mother who cared for her family.”

11:20 p.m.
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Video: Suspect entered first business more than an hour before deadly shooting

Surveillance video shows the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, enter Young’s Asian Massage more than an hour before shooting was reported. (Elyse Samuels/Gabby’s Boutique)

The suspect in the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas entered Young’s Asian Massage more than an hour before gunfire was reported at the business, the beginning of a rampage that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women, surveillance video obtained by The Washington Post shows.

The video shows that Robert Aaron Long first spent an hour sitting in the parking lot outside the shop. He then entered and 1 hours and 12 minutes elapsed before he was seen leaving the establishment and getting into his car. Several minutes later, people appear in the parking lot and police arrive. The length of time that Long spent inside Young’s was previously unknown. It’s unclear what he was doing for the hour after he was seen entering the spa and before the shooting began.

10:36 p.m.
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Biden, Harris denounce attacks on Asian Americans

Speaking after a meeting with public officials and Asian American leaders in Atlanta, President Biden and Vice President Harris denounced Tuesday’s mass shooting that killed eight people — six of them of Asian descent — as well as the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans.

Harris, whose mother was from India and who is the first woman and first Black and Asian American person elected vice president, recounted the long history of discrimination against people of Asian descent in U.S. history, from laws forbidding Chinese railroad workers from owning property in the 1860s to Japanese Americans forced into internment camps during World War II.

“Racism is real in America and it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America and always has been. Sexism, too,” Harris said. “A harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us. The president and I will not be silent. We will not stand by. We will always speak out against violence, hate crimes and discrimination, wherever and whenever it occurs.”

Citing speeches he had made throughout his campaign and in his inaugural address, Biden said standing together against hate and racism should be one of the core values that brings people together as Americans.

“Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year, feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake,” Biden said.

Biden said the Department of Justice would be strengthening its partnership with the AAPI community to prevent hate crimes, and called on Congress to pass the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. But he acknowledged that legislation could only go so far.

“Hate and violence often hide in plain sight and are so often met with silence. That’s been true throughout history. But that has to change because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act,” Biden said. “ … For all the good the laws can do, we have to change our hearts. Hate can have no safe harbor in America. It must stop. And it’s on all of us, all of us together to make it stop.”

Biden and Harris had originally planned to travel to Georgia to hold a car rally to celebrate the passage of their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, but canceled it in the wake of the mass shooting.

9:57 p.m.
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Korean American community leaders express concern over police statement that suspect ‘had a really bad day’

ATLANTA — Korean American community leaders in Atlanta on Friday called for a thorough investigation into the killing of six Asian women, specifically raising concerns about statements and Facebook posts made by a police spokesman.

“Our community is very upset and angry,” Baik Kyu Kim, president of the Georgia Korean Grocers Association, said during a vigil outside Gold Spa, one of the three businesses where the shootings unfolded.

They said their concerns stem from comments made during a Wednesday news conference by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jay Baker, who said the mass shooting suspect was having a “really bad day.” Subsequently, Internet sleuths and journalists found Baker’s Facebook posts promoting shirts that called the novel coronavirus an “IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA.”

Baker is no longer spokesman on the case, an official said.

Standing in front of a makeshift memorial of handmade signs and flowers, the community leaders denounced rhetoric and violence aimed at Asians while calling for solidarity from Atlantans and Americans across the country.

“We are your neighbors. We go to your schools. Our children sit next to yours,” said Michelle Kang, spokeswoman for the Atlanta Korean American Committee Against Asian Hate Crimes.

Family members of the Korean women who were killed have begun arriving in Georgia to make funeral arrangements, Kang said, adding that members of the Korean American community are eager to help them financially and logistically once the families are ready. There are no announcements yet of upcoming funerals.

“They are already upset and frightened, so we’re going to take time and give them some room to breathe right now. We will definitely reach out to them to see how can we help them,” Kang said.

9:57 p.m.
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GoFundMe campaign started by victim’s son raises $1.5 million in less than a day

Nearly 39,000 donors have given more than $1.5 million in 19 hours to a GoFundMe campaign set up by the son of one of the Atlanta spa victims, a total that is growing by the minute. The goal was $20,000.

Hyun Jung Grant, 51, was among four Asian women killed during a gunman’s rampage at Gold Spa, according to the Fulton County medical examiner. The mother of two was shot in the head. Her identity was officially released Friday. One of her two sons created a GoFundMe page yesterday, writing emotionally about his late mother.

“This is something that should never happen to anyone,” wrote Randy Park. “She was a single mother who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I.”

Park called his mother “one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today. Losing her has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world.”

Park said he has no time to grieve. He has a younger brother to care for and a funeral to plan. He said he is still waiting for his mother’s body to be released by authorities. In an update to the fundraising page posted Friday morning, he said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers.

“I don’t know how any word I write here will ever convey how grateful and blessed I am to receive this much support.” To those who donated money, Park wrote, “To put it bluntly, I can’t believe you guys exist.”

Campaigns for other victims confirmed as legitimate by GoFundMe include those set up for Delaina Yaun ($43,345 as of 5:56 p.m. Friday), Paul Michels ($11,554) and Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, who remains in the hospital in critical condition ($130,045).

Park, in his post, acknowledged the fear felt by others.

“Thank you everyone and please share whatever care and kindness you have shown here to anyone you know that feels scared or unsure about the world we live in. I can’t help but feel selfish for all the attention this has garnered.”

Park in his initial post said only he and his brother live in the United States. The rest of their family is in South Korea and are unable to travel here. But he knows that among so many strangers, many are looking out for him.

“My mother can rest easy knowing I have the support of the world with me.”

8:15 p.m.
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Accused Atlanta gunman was patient at evangelical treatment center within a mile of first targeted spa

ATLANTA — The first spa targeted in the Atlanta-area killings this week was in an area very familiar to Robert Aaron Long. It is located within a mile of an evangelical treatment facility where Long, accused of being the gunman, spent time as a patient for what he described as “sex addiction,” according to a former roommate.

The evangelical facility, HopeQuest in Acworth, Ga., sits in a secluded forest at the end of a residential street about 30 miles outside Atlanta and down the road from Young’s Asian Massage. Police say that after killing four people and wounding a fifth there, Long drove 27 miles to two more spas in Atlanta where he fatally shot four more people.

HopeQuest has ties to major evangelical institutions and has promoted “ex-gay therapy,” the idea that people can become heterosexual through counseling. Long, 21, who grew up in a conservative Southern Baptist church, was a patient at the treatment facility in 2019 and again in 2020, according to his former roommate Tyler Bayless.

7:42 p.m.
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Photos: Crowds gather around the country to protest anti-Asian violence

Click here to see more photos from around the country.

4:15 p.m.
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Study finds that racist anti-Asian hashtags spiked after Trump first tweeted ‘Chinese virus’

As the coronavirus spread across the globe last February, the World Health Organization urged people to avoid terms like the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese virus,” fearing it could spike a backlash against Asians.

President Donald Trump didn’t take the advice. On March 16, 2020, he first tweeted the phrase “Chinese virus.”

That single tweet, researchers later found, fueled exactly the kind of backlash the WHO had feared: It was followed by an avalanche of tweets using the hashtag #chinesevirus, among other anti-Asian phrases.

2:47 p.m.
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Four remaining victims identified by medical examiner’s office

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office has released the names of the four victims killed at Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa: Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Hyun Jung Grant, 51.

Park, Grant and Yue each died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the examiner’s report. Kim died of gunshot wounds to the chest.

Investigators said this week they were waiting to identify the four victims because they had been unable to notify all their family members.

Shortly after the shootings, police identified the four other victims killed: Xiaojie Tan, 49: Delaina Yaun, 33; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54.

1:31 p.m.
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Long’s church says ‘he alone is responsible for his evil actions and desires’

Long’s longtime church condemned him in a lengthy statement on Friday morning, saying the 21-year-old shooting suspect had committed an “extreme and wicked act” that had prompted leaders to remove him from the congregation.

“These unthinkable and egregious murders directly contradict his own confession of faith in Jesus and the gospel,” the statement from Crabapple First Baptist Church read. “Aaron’s actions are antithetical to everything that we believe and teach as a church.”

Police say Long has admitted the crimes.

As information about Long and his family’s ties to the Southern Baptist congregation in Milton, Ga., emerged in the wake of the shooting, church leaders had been noticeably quiet. The congregation held a members-only meeting on Wednesday night, and the church’s website and all of its social media pages were taken down.

Friday’s statement said Crabapple First Baptist had cooperated with law enforcement officials and would continue to do so over the course of the police investigation. It framed the deadly series of shootings as “a total repudiation” of the Gospel that fell entirely on Long.

“No blame can be placed upon the victims. He alone is responsible for his evil actions and desires,” the statement read. “These actions are the result of a sinful heart and depraved mind for which Aaron is completely responsible.”

Given Long’s self-described defense that he has a “sexual addiction,” according to police, and that six of the eight victims were Asian women, questions have also emerged about the role of the church’s teachings.

But church leaders said they explicitly rejected violence, misogyny and racism, denouncing “any and all forms of hatred or violence” against Asian Americans and asserting that “each person is responsible for his or her own sin.”

12:15 p.m.
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Biden and Harris heading to Atlanta to meet with Asian American leaders

President Biden and Vice President Harris are heading to Atlanta on Friday to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and meet with Asian American leaders in the wake of the spa shootings in Georgia that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.

The trip was originally scheduled as part of the White House’s “Help Is Here” tour to tout provisions of the newly signed American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which passed in part because of the arrival in Washington of Georgia’s two new Democratic senators.

In the wake of the deadly violence earlier this week in Atlanta, the focus of the trip has been transformed.

Biden and Harris will still visit the CDC, where the White House says they will receive an “update from the team of health and medical experts who are helping lead the fight against the pandemic.”

But the lengthier part of the trip will now take place at Emory University, where Biden and Harris are scheduled to visit with Asian American leaders to discuss threats to the community, which have escalated in Georgia and nationally since the onset of the pandemic.

Biden is also scheduled to deliver remarks while at Emory.

After returning to Washington on Friday night, Biden plans to head to Camp David in western Maryland, where the White House says he will spend the weekend.