Spa witness, police reports detail carnage in Georgia
"I started thinking about my son.”Lyon waited in the room, less than a minute, he figures, until he heard the sound of bells signaling someone had opened the front door at Youngs Asian Massage. "I couldn’t believe it was happening.”AdLyon's eyewitness account and police reports released Tuesday reveal a closer look at the carnage of March 16. His right hand in his back pocket, he walked into Youngs Asian Massage through the front door. ___AdRita Barron told deputies she heard screams and loud thumps coming from Youngs Asian Massage. Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49, was an entrepreneur who owned Youngs Asian Massage and other businesses.
Shooting victim's husband says police detained him for hours
(AP Photo/Ben Gray)ATLANTA – A man who survived the shooting that killed his wife at an Atlanta-area massage business last week said police detained him in handcuffs for four hours after the attack. Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said in an emailed statement Monday afternoon that his office would not have any further comment on the case and is focusing on the investigation and prosecution. In all, seven of the slain victims were women, six of them of Asian descent. Gonzalez said they put him in handcuffs and detained him for about four hours, according to the website. “Only when they finally confirmed I was her husband, did they tell me that she was dead," he said.
Slain spa workers and customers mourned by families
The exception is 44-year-old Daoyou Feng, an employee at Youngs Asian Massage near Woodstock about whom little is known. Instead those relatives are mourning her death Tuesday at the Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta. “From what I understand, he was at the spa that day doing some work for them,” said Michels’ younger brother, John Michels of Commerce, Michigan. “He was actually looking to start his own massage spa. Family members said Yaun and her husband were first-time customers at Youngs, eager for a chance to unwind.
Rallies in Atlanta, nation against hate after spa shootings
A 21-year-old white man is accused of killing eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, at three Atlanta-area massage businesses Tuesday. Hundreds of people of all ages and varied racial and ethnic backgrounds gathered in Liberty Plaza in Atlanta, and in similar rallies across the country, waving signs and chanting slogans. Otis Wilson, a 38-year-old photographer who's Black, said people need to pay attention to the discrimination those of Asian descent face. They moved to Atlanta four years ago and got involved in community organizing, last summer pulling together an event to support Black women victimized by police violence. AdHunt, who's Black, joined Saturday's rally to “show Black and Asian solidarity,” adding “I think it’s amazing.
Spa shootings could be first test of Georgia hate crimes law
A hate crime charge can be included in an indictment or added at some point before trial. If a jury convicts the defendant of the underlying crime, prosecutors can present evidence for a hate crime sentencing enhancement. The Georgia law also mandates collecting and reporting data on hate crimes investigated by law enforcement, which allows tracking and proper allocation of resources, Washington said. “This, to me, is a sex crime hate crime where the victims happen to be Asian," he said. Georgia’s Supreme Court had overturned an earlier hate crimes statute in 2004, saying it was too broad.
Sources: Feds have no evidence yet for GA hate crime charge
(AP Photo/Candice Choi)WASHINGTON – Federal investigators have so far not found evidence that clears the high bar for federal hate crime charges against a man who has been accused of killing eight people at three Atlanta-area massage businesses, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. Seven of the eight people killed were women; six were of Asian descent. The crime has stitched together stigmas about race, gender, migrant work and sex work. Though investigators have not ruled out ultimately filing hate crime charges, they face legal constraints in doing so. To successfully prosecute a hate crimes case, prosecutors typically seek tangible evidence, such as the suspect expressing racism in text messages, in internet posts or to witnesses.
Georgia church disowns suspect, says he betrayed faith
Authorities have arrested 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long in the shootings at massage parlors in Atlanta and one in Cherokee County. Congregants were “distraught" when they learned the alleged shooter was a member of the community, the statement said. Ad“We watched Aaron grow up and accepted him into church membership when he made his own profession of faith in Jesus Christ," it said. Those statements caused widespread uproar and skepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent. “He had some interesting religious beliefs, I’m sure, but he was never very overtly pushy about that sort of thing.
Sources: Feds have no evidence yet for GA hate crime charge
(AP Photo/Candice Choi)WASHINGTON – Federal investigators have so far not found evidence that clears the high bar for federal hate crime charges against a man who has been accused of killing eight people at three Atlanta-area massage businesses, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Friday. Seven of the eight people killed were women; six were of Asian descent. The crime has stitched together stigmas about race, gender, migrant work and sex work. Though investigators have not ruled out ultimately filing hate crime charges, they face legal constraints in doing so. To successfully prosecute a hate crimes case, prosecutors typically seek tangible evidence, such as the suspect expressing racism in text messages, in internet posts or to witnesses.
Slain spa worker toiled tirelessly to support her family
“From what I understand, he was at the spa that day doing some work for them,” said Michels’ younger brother, John Michels of Commerce, Michigan. You get to a point where you get tired of climbing up and down ladders,” John Michels said. Though they were born 2 1/2 years apart, “he was basically my twin,” John Michels said. “He was a good, hard-working man who would do what he could do to help people,” John Michels said. “I just don’t understand why he took my daughter.”___This story has been edited to correct the name of Youngs Asian Massage.
Attacked spas had been targeted by prostitution stings
(AP Photo/Candice Choi)ATLANTA – Two Atlanta area massage businesses where a gunman waged a deadly assault this week had been repeatedly targeted in police prostitution investigations over the years, raising questions about the mayor's earlier comments that the spas operated legally. Seven of the victims were women — six of Asian descent — and the gunman targeted the massage businesses despite a strip club and lingerie stores nearby. Police records released by the city Friday show 10 people were arrested at the two Atlanta massage businesses on prostitution charges, but none since 2013. Four people were killed and a fifth wounded at Youngs Asian Massage near Woodstock, in Atlanta’s northwestern suburbs. It was updated on March 20, 2021 to correct that there were 10 prostitution-related arrests at the two Atlanta businesses, and police were called to them repeatedly.
The Latest: Georgia sheriff's spokesman replaced on case
The statement did not give details about the status of Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent. “These problems we’re facing right now are not new,” Au said, referring to misogyny, anti-Asian discrimination and gun violence. But Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Authorities have charged 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long with murder in the deaths of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent.
Atlanta police on shooting probe: 'Nothing is off the table'
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)ATLANTA – Police said Thursday that “nothing is off the table” in the investigation of the deadly shootings at two Atlanta massage businesses, including whether the slayings were a hate crime. The pair postponed a political event in favor of meeting Friday with Asian American community leaders. “Our investigation is looking at everything, so nothing is off the table,” Deputy Atlanta Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said at a news conference. Investigators believe Long had previously visited two of the Atlanta massage parlors where four of the women were killed, Hampton said. Long’s statements spurred outrage and widespread skepticism in the Asian American community, which has increasingly been targeted for violence during the coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia shooting suspect may have ‘sexual addiction,’ was headed to Florida to commit similar crimes, police say
He claimed to have a “sex addiction,” and authorities said he apparently lashed out at what he saw as sources of temptation. But those statements spurred outrage and widespread skepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent. Baker drew criticism for saying Long had “a really bad day" and “this is what he did." AdThe attacks began when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor near Woodstock, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Atlanta, authorities said. “I mean, all my friends, we were flabbergasted.”The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize sex addiction in its main reference guide for mental disorders.