Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Ga., is in custody and accused of shooting eight people dead across three massage parlors on Tuesday. The shootings happened within a short period of time and within close proximity of each other.
Six of the victims were of Asian descent and seven were women. The shootings took place the same day the Stop AAPI Hate center released a report stating it received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents between March 2020 and February 2021.
Anti-Asian hate crimes have risen in the United States in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic as the virus was first observed in Wuhan, China.
President Joe Biden was in contact with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray about the attacks on Wednesday. The FBI is involved as the incident may represent a hate crime.
Investigators said Wednesday that Long confessed to the attacks and said they were not racially motivated. Authorities added that sex addiction played a role in the shootings because Long would visit massage parlors and wanted to stop the behavior.
"The violent attacks and murders against Asians are still happening. Please help us. We need help to be safe in our country. #StopAsianHate. Please," Munn said on Twitter.
"Absolutely horrible. Sending love to all the loved ones of those whose lives were taken. Our nation needs to reckon with the increased threats being directed at our Asian-American brothers and sisters," Legend said on Twitter.
"The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem. And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity. #StopAsianHate," Kim said on Twitter.
"Asian Americans are being beaten, targeted, harassed and murdered. Pay attention. #StopAsianHate," Amber Tamblyn wrote on a sign that she posted on Twitter.
"My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa. Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!!" LeBron James said on Twitter.
"This is deeply, deeply sad. Trump on Fox *tonight* referred to COVID using the racist slur 'China virus.' He previously called it the 'Kung Flu.' While he continues to spread hatred against Asian Americans, people like this shooter are listening," Padma Lakshmi said on Twitter.
"This should go without saying. Yet here we are in 2021. #StopAsianHate #AntiRacism," Questlove said on Instagram alongside a #StopAsianHate sign.
"This is sooo heartbreaking...praying for our world. To my Asian American family, please take time to grieve but know you're loved, seen and IMPORTANT. We have to keep standing up, speaking out, rallying together and fighting for change. We cannot lose hope!! #StopAsianHate #NOW," Jeremy Lin said on Twitter.