Atlanta Spa Shootings Were Hate Crimes, Prosecutor Says

A prosecutor said on Tuesday that the man accused of killing eight people at spas in and around Atlanta had targeted some of the victims because they were of Asian descent, and said she was planning to seek the death penalty against him. The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 22, who is white, was formally indicted on murder charges on Tuesday for the four killings at two massage businesses in the City of Atlanta, which shook the country in March amid a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes. Mr. Long had already been charged with murder in Cherokee County for four other killings at a spa there less than an hour before the Atlanta attacks. In a court filing, Fani Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, said Mr. Long had targeted the four victims in Atlanta, all of whom were women of Asian descent, because of their race, national origin, sex and gender. The women killed in Atlanta were Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; and Hyun Jung Grant, 51. Ms. Willis filed a notice in court that she will seek hate crime penalties if Mr. Long is convicted of murder. Under Georgia law, a prosecutor can ask a jury to determine if a person convicted of an underlying crime is also guilty of a hate crime, which carries an additional penalty. A lawyer for Mr. Long could not be immediately reached for comment.

Atlanta Spa Shootings Were Hate Crimes, Prosecutor Says
A prosecutor said on Tuesday that the man accused of killing eight people at spas in and around Atlanta had targeted some of the victims because they were of Asian descent, and said she was planning to seek the death penalty against him. The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 22, who is white, was formally indicted on murder charges on Tuesday for the four killings at two massage businesses in the City of Atlanta, which shook the country in March amid a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes. Mr. Long had already been charged with murder in Cherokee County for four other killings at a spa there less than an hour before the Atlanta attacks. In a court filing, Fani Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, said Mr. Long had targeted the four victims in Atlanta, all of whom were women of Asian descent, because of their race, national origin, sex and gender. The women killed in Atlanta were Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; and Hyun Jung Grant, 51. Ms. Willis filed a notice in court that she will seek hate crime penalties if Mr. Long is convicted of murder. Under Georgia law, a prosecutor can ask a jury to determine if a person convicted of an underlying crime is also guilty of a hate crime, which carries an additional penalty. A lawyer for Mr. Long could not be immediately reached for comment.