Celebrities such as Rihanna, Pharrell and Lebron James are speaking out in support of the Asian community after a white man fatally shot eight people in the Atlanta area on Tuesday (March 16) — six of whom were Asian women.
Robert Aaron Long was charged with eight counts of murder for the shootings. On Wednesday (March 17), authorities held a press conference and announced that Long said the killings were not racially motivated.
Instead, he claimed he has a “sexual addiction” and the parlors were a “temptation” he wanted to “eliminate.” The murder suspect also told investigators that he was on his way to Florida to “do more acts” there.
“What happened yesterday in Atlanta was brutal, tragic & is certainly not an isolated incident by any means,” wrote the “We Found Love” singer on Wednesday. “AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated & it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community & my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost. The hate must stop.”
On Wednesday, Pharrell took to Instagram to bring awareness to the shootings and call for an end to anti-Asian violence. “Enough is enough,” the mega-producer wrote. “Last night was another instance of innocent lives lost to domestic terrorism. We must protect our Asian brothers and sisters. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their wives, sisters, daughters to this senseless act of hatred. Stop Asian Hate now.”
“My condolences [go] out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa,” wrote King James on Twitter. “Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!!”
“My heart breaks for the Asian community,” tweeted Janet Jackson. “Sending prayers to all affected by yesterday’s tragedy. #StopAsianHate.”
Check out more reactions to the tragic shootings below.