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Captain who said spa shootings suspect had “bad day” removed from case

Capt. Jay Baker’s future with the office is under evaluation. 

Jay Baker USA Today Network via Reuters

A Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman has been removed from the deadly spa cases after he said the alleged shooter was having a “bad day” following his shooting spree that left eight people dead — many of whom were Asian women.

On Wednesday (March 17), Captain Jay Baker seemingly made excuses for Atlanta shooting suspect Robert Aaron Long’s violent behavior. “He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Baker said.

After receiving backlash for his comments, social media users found old an post where the captain allegedly promoted racism and anti-Asian hate by sharing an image of xenophobic t-shirts.

The Facebook post, which was allegedly shared by Baker, included a link to t-shirts that read: “COVID-19 imported virus from CHY-NA.” In the posts, he wrote, “Love my shirt” and “Get yours while they last.”

The Facebook post has since been deleted and authorities said they were not aware of it. The Daily Beast contacted county Sheriff Frank Reynolds who thanked the outlet for “bringing that to my attention.”

Baker’s future at the Sheriff’s Office is uncertain, although the sheriff’s department issued a statement saying they don’t believe the captain was trying to be disrespectful to the victims. The department is also considering handing over its portion of the investigation to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), according to WSBTV.

On Tuesday (March 16), 21-year-old Long fatally shot eight people in different massage parlors around the Atlanta area. Six of his victims were Asian women, prompting many to believe that his attacks were racially motivated. However, Baker said that the alleged gunman told him he struggled with sex addiction and the parlors were a “temptation” he wanted to “eliminate.”

Long has been charged with eight counts of murder. He is currently being held behind bars with no bond.

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