- Around 200 activists and community members gathered near the Young Girls Peace Monument in Brookhaven, Georgia, on Saturday ahead of the Georgia mass shooting anniversary on Wednesday.
- During last year’s incident, Robert Aaron Long reportedly shot and killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three spas located in Cherokee County and Atlanta on March 16, 2021.
- “My mom was more than her ethnicity, she was more than her job and she was more than the way she was killed," Robert Peterson, the son of one of the victims, said at the rally.
- A larger rally, called “Break the Silence,” will be held at the Georgia Capitol on Wednesday to combat anti-Asian hate and violence. Similar rallies will be held across several cities, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Washington D.C.
Activists and community members held a rally in Brookhaven, Georgia, to honor the victims of the Georgia mass shooting last year, where eight people – including six Asian women – were killed.
Around 200 people reportedly gathered near Brookhaven’s Young Girls Peace Monument, a memorial to the women forced into sexual slavery by Japan during WWII, on Saturday.
Organized by Atlanta’s Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the Asian American Advocacy Fund, the rally showcased art, music and poetry to commemorate the eight victims, six of whom were Asian women.
“We wanted to leave the actual day, March 16, as a quieter day of reflection. We wanted to provide space for the families to grieve in whatever way they wanted to,” Phil Nguyen, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Atlanta, told NPR.
“My mom was more than her ethnicity, she was more than her job and she was more than the way she was killed,” Robert Peterson, the son of one of the victims, said at the rally. “Someone said this pain would go away. But to be honest, it has not.”
The victims who were killed in the incident were identified as Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63.
Robert Aaron Long, aged 21 at the time of the mass shooting, opened fire at Youngs Asian Massage in Cherokee County on March 16. He killed four people before driving to Atlanta to shoot three women at Gold Spa and another one at Aromatherapy Spa across the street.
Long, from the city of Woodstock, was arrested following a car chase later that day.
The shooter pleaded guilty to murder and other charges related to the incident in Cherokee County. He was sentenced to life without parole during his hearing in July 2021. Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis sought the death penalty for Long in August 2021 with “complete support” from the victims’ families.
However, Long pleaded not guilty to the incident in Fulton County. His hearing for that case will commence next month.
A larger rally will be held on Wednesday at the Georgia Capitol to combat anti-Asian hate and violence. Similar rallies will be held across several cities on the same day, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Washington D.C.
Featured Image via 11Alive