CAPAC Members and House Democratic Leader Commemorate Anniversary of Atlanta Spa Shootings

Mar 16, 2023 Issues: Civil Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two years ago today, a gunman sought out and entered three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Georgia, opened fire, and killed eight people, including six Asian women. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries issued the following statements:

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-28):

“Today, we remember, mourn, and honor the eight people, including six Asian women, who were targeted and murdered in an act of pure hate in the Atlanta spa shootings two years ago. This tragedy shocked our country awake to the reality of surging anti-Asian hate that Asian American communities have been facing for three years. Days after the shooting, I led a Congressional delegation to Georgia, where we retraced the steps of the killer as he drove 27 miles in search of spas where he knew he could harm Asian women. While I am proud that my colleagues in Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration came together in the wake of this tragedy to enact the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, our work is far from over. I remain in solidarity with our communities in Atlanta and across the nation as we continue to fight anti-Asian hate and xenophobia in all its forms.”

House Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries:

“Today House Democrats remember the victims of the tragic massacre in Atlanta two years ago and send our prayers to their families. This violent attack reminded us of the cancer of hate, racism and xenophobia our Asian American brothers and sisters face throughout the country. We stand in complete solidarity with them and will not rest until we stop Asian hate and crush the gun violence epidemic in America.”

CAPAC First Vice-Chair Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06):

“Today marks two years since the tragic Atlanta spa shootings. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims as we reaffirm in our hearts the memories of the eight individuals we lost that day. This anniversary is painful for myself and the Asian American community, as it serves as a reminder of hate we have and continue to face. Senseless acts of gun violence have taken away many of our loved ones, including those killed just months ago in the horrible shootings at Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. We must honor the memories of all those we have lost by working hard to create safe communities for all Americans and continuing to stand up to hate and violence wherever they occur.”

CAPAC Second Vice-Chair Rep. Mark Takano (CA-39):

“Two years ago, eight individuals, including six Asian women, were killed in a series of shootings in the Atlanta metro area. The trauma and scars from the Atlanta Spa Shooting and recent shootings in California AAPI communities still deeply touch our community. Tragedies such as these cannot be forgotten, and my thoughts remain with those mourning the lives lost two years ago, and all other lives taken too soon through gun violence and anti-AAPI hate. We must come together to honor the victims by continuing to speak out against hate and bigotry, and taking action to eradicate the scourge of gun violence. Everyone deserves to feel safe, secure, and welcomed in their own community.”

CAPAC Whip Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-36):

“I grieve for the victims of the shootings at three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta as we mark the two-year anniversary of this tragic event. These murders were one instance in a pattern of increased hate and violence directed toward the AAPI community in recent years. I am proud to have introduced the Stop Hate Crimes Act in the 117th Congress, which would have ensured that those who commit hate crimes, such as the Atlanta spa shooter, are held accountable. As we honor the eight innocent lives taken that day in Atlanta, we must remember our collective duty to put an end to hatred, bigotry, and violence in all forms.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (IL):

“When a shooter targeted and murdered six Asian women in the Atlanta spa shootings two years ago today, it was a horrific reminder of the systemic hate that has plagued our Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities throughout our nation’s history. We know that blaming the AANHPI community for a public health crisis is racist and wrong, and that’s why I’m so proud President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which I helped introduce, into law to help protect our fellow Americans from the increase in anti-Asian hate and attacks that we’ve seen since the start of this pandemic. Yet, with anti-Asian hate crimes still on the rise, it’s clear we must do more to stop the violence that’s continuing to terrorize the AANHPI community. We are not the ‘other,’ and I’ll continue to do everything I can to help put an end to the disease of hatred that’s spreading through our country right now.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI):

“It has been two years since 8 people—including 6 women of Asian descent—were murdered in the horrific spa shootings in Atlanta. Today, we remember the lives of those lost and reaffirm our commitment to combatting hate crimes and promoting gun safety, because every person in this country deserves to be safe in their community. I will continue working to eradicate hate-based violence and help ensure the safety of all communities across our country.”

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34):

“Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings, where a gunman senselessly murdered eight innocent people -- including six women of Asian descent. This horrific tragedy was one of the many acts of anti-Asian hate and violence we’ve seen during the pandemic, but it is not a new phenomenon. From the LA Chinese massacre of 1871 to the murder of Vincent Chin, anti-Asian hate has long been a stain on our nation’s history. That’s why I created the CA-34 Congressional Task Force to Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence – to take a stand and advance safety, inclusion, and belonging for all AANHPI communities. I join my CAPAC colleagues in condemning such acts of hatred and recommit to rooting out bigotry, discrimination, and xenophobia wherever it appears.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“Today marks the two-year anniversary of the horrific Georgia spa shootings where eight people were murdered, including six Asian American women. My heart is with the loved ones of those who were killed and the Atlanta community. I will continue standing firm with my colleagues to combat violence against the AAPI community and fight for gun reform.”

Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03):

“Two years ago, I watched the news of the Atlanta shootings in horror. I'll never forget the raw emotion from the families of the victims when we met with them. With awe inspiring hope, they asked what Congress would do to help keep the Asian American community safe? While I'm proud to have passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act of 2021, we know our work is not done. We must ensure the law's robust implementation and challenge ourselves and our communities to do more to combat the scourge of hatred and violence. I know that together, we are stronger, united, and more resolved than ever to stand up, speak out, and stop AAPI hate.”

Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10):

“Two years ago today, eight families lost precious loved ones and an entire community was ripped apart. Racially motivated violence must be recognized for exactly what it is and excuses for it must end. On this anniversary, we remember the victims in Atlanta and renew our vow to root out all forms of racially motivated hate in our communities.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-33):

“Two years ago, eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, tragically lost their lives in a horrific hate crime that targeted the AAPI community. Congress responded with legislation to ensure that violence toward the AAPI community is treated as a hate crime. However, we must do more to end discrimination and gun violence across our country. As we remember each victim today, let us recommit to fighting for solutions that end violence, hatred and xenophobia.”

Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44):

“On the second anniversary of the Atlanta Spa Shootings, we reflect on a tragic incident that stole 8 innocent lives. Fueled by anti-Asian sentiment, the shootings remind us of the devastating impacts of racism and misogyny in our society. As our country battles with anti-Asian hate, we must remember the shootings that took place on this day, honor the lives of the victims, and commit ourselves to stand against violence and discrimination.”

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01):

“Two years after eight people were senselessly murdered in Atlanta, we must continue to stand with AAPI communities and speak out against anti-Asian actions and sentiments. Shamefully, this includes rhetoric expressed by some of our own colleagues in Congress. The tragic events in Georgia remind us that the use of racist and xenophobic language too often fuels violence against marginalized communities. I join my CAPAC colleagues in remembering the victims of the Atlanta attacks, and in renewing our commitment to opposing hate in all forms.”

Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38):

“Two years ago, a gunman walked into three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Georgia, and took the lives of eight people. Since then, we have witnessed other acts of senseless violence against AAPI Americans—including the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. Our communities have suffered enough. We must act now to root out anti-Asian hate and put a stop to these kinds of tragedies. I continue to be an advocate for our AAPI neighbors, and my heart is with the victims and their families on this difficult day.”