CAPAC Members Commemorate Anniversary of Atlanta Spa Shootings

Mar 16, 2022

Washington, D.C. — One year ago today, a gunman sought out and entered three Asian-owned spas in Georgia, opened fire, and killed eight people, including six Asian women. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) issued the following statements:

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27):

“One year later, it is still difficult to grasp the horrors of this day and what it meant to the Asian American community. After a year of warning that xenophobic slurs like ‘China virus’ and ‘kung flu’ were putting Asian lives at risk, America was shocked awake to this reality by the murder of eight people, including six Asian women, in an act of pure hate. Days later, I led a delegation to Georgia where we retraced the steps of the killer as he drove 27 miles in search of spas where he knew that he would find Asian women, who he knew to be among the most vulnerable. And I also met with the families of the victims, who told us through tears what their loved ones meant to them. These murders have left holes in the lives of loved ones and their communities that can never be filled, and it drove home to the Asian American community and the rest of the country just how dangerous the spike in anti-Asian hate had become. But as horrific as this day was, it was incredibly encouraging to see the outpouring of support that followed, including the bipartisan passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act which will help improve our ability to respond to and track hate crimes. But, one year later, with anti-Asian hate crimes continuing to climb to over 11,000 incidents, it is clear that we must do more to honor the memory of all these victims by uniting to reject hate and xenophobia and ensure that everyone feels safe in this country.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice-Chair:

"​On the one-year anniversary of the Georgia spa shootings, we remember the 8 individuals, including the six Asian women, who were senselessly gunned down in a mass shooting in the Atlanta-area. The pain and heartbreak of this tragedy are still felt throughout the AAPI community as we continue to see AAPIs – especially AAPI women – battling violence, hate, and discrimination. Racism, misogyny, and bigotry have no place in our country. ​Days after the massacre, I traveled to Atlanta with several of my CAPAC colleagues where we met with family members of those who were murdered, laid flowers at the shooting sites, and spoke with Asian American leaders from the area. My heart continues to be with the victims’ loved ones, and their communities on this tragic anniversary. Let us honor the lives of those eight individuals, including the six Asian women, and commit to fighting xenophobia and hate wherever and whenever we see it.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice-Chair:

"The anniversary of the Atlanta Spa Shooting is a stark reminder of the harm that anti-AAPI sentiment poses on our society. One year later, my thoughts remain with the victims’ families and friends who are still mourning the unjust death of their loved ones. I feel comforted by the fact that Congress took leadership in addressing these issues of violence by passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and President Biden signing it into law, but our work is not done yet. We must always speak out against all discrimination or prejudice that takes place in our country. I will continue to be a voice for the AAPI community and advocate against of hate, bigotry, and ignorance."

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“One year ago, a shooter targeted three separate Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, killing eight innocent people and injuring several others. My prayers continue to be with the families of the victims. This was an unspeakable tragedy that occurred during a time of heightened violence against Asian Americans. I am thankful we have a President who is working with us to Stop Asian Hate. May we honor the victims of this senseless tragedy by coming together in the ongoing fight against hatred, intolerance, and bigotry.”

Congressman Kaiali’i Kahele (HI-02), CAPAC Freshman Representative:

“My heart remains with the families and loved ones of the victims who are no longer with us. Our Asian American community has endured too much unwarranted hate and violence throughout this pandemic. Enough is enough. As we navigate these difficult times, we must continue to actively look out for each other, raise awareness to this issue and remind ourselves that this cannot be our new normal.”

Senator Mazie Hirono (HI):

“One year after the horrific spa shootings in Atlanta, the increased rise in anti-Asian hate crimes continues to spur fear, anger and grief in the Asian and Pacific Islander community. In remembrance of the women who were murdered in Atlanta, and all victims of verbal abuse, physical attacks and other acts of discrimination, we must work hard to eradicate hate based violence. I’m proud to have worked so hard to get the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act signed into law in order to provide the Department of Justice with the tools it needs to combat anti-Asian and all forms of hate crimes and incidents. This law is an important step forward in our fight to end hate crimes, but our work is far from over. Everyone in this country deserves to feel safe and welcome in our communities. I will continue to advocate on behalf of our communities to ensure they have the resources and assistance to put an end to these senseless attacks.”

Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL):

“When a shooter targeted and murdered six Asian women in the Atlanta spa shootings one year 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 rise in anti-Asian hate and attacks that we’ve seen since the start of this pandemic. Yet, with anti-Asian hate crimes up by 339% in the last year, 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.”

Congressman Al Green (TX-09):

“Today we commemorate all eight innocent persons whose lives were senselessly and tragically taken last year by racially motivated gun violence in multiple Atlanta spas. I stand with my Asian American Pacific Islander friends today and every day in condemning such acts of hatred.  Hateful rhetoric, bigotry, and harassment directed at any demographic, including the Asian diaspora, have no place in our society. We must continue to stand up for each other and speak out against invidious discrimination to prevent sinful violence against humanity such as this from occurring again.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“As we reflect on the one-year anniversary of the horrific attack in Georgia, I join my colleagues in condemning violence and racism against the AAPI community. My heart is with the family and loved ones of those who were tragically killed. Violence and discrimination will never be tolerated.”

Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03):

“One year ago today, I watched in horror seeing the news of the shootings in Atlanta. I'll never forget the raw emotion from the families of the victims when we met with them, and 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 it is still not enough. Since then, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased. While we are still vulnerable and exhausted as a community, we are also stronger, united, and more resolved than ever to stand up, speak out, and stop AAPI hate.”

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08):

“One year ago, we witnessed the heartbreaking loss of life in the Atlanta spa shooting when a hate-driven gunman opened fire, killing eight innocent people, including six women of Asian descent. We must commit ourselves once again to ending this tragic cycle of violence and hatred against the Asian-American community. Americans of all races must be able to feel safe living in this country as we together pursue the American Dream. I urge my colleagues to take up my Hate Crimes Commission Act, and other legislation aimed at combatting violent bigotry, as we continue to work toward a more perfect union.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“One year ago today, we lost eight Americans in the horrific Atlanta spa shootings. I join the Asian-American community in mourning the victims of that devastating attack. This is a frightening time for the AAPI community—we must be vigilant and united against the rise of racially motivated crime. There is no place in America for bigotry. I stand with the AAPI community in Atlanta, in the East Bay, and across the country on this day of remembrance.”

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03):

“Today we remember the victims of the shootings in Georgia as we continue to speak out against the ongoing violence toward Asian Americans. One year ago, eight innocent people were shot on March 16, 2021. 7 were women, 6 were women of Asian descent and several were immigrants. These three separate shootings took place at Asian-owned businesses. What happened in Georgia is evidence of the forces of discrimination and sexism that have been allowed to grow in our country. I stand with my CAPAC colleagues to condemn these hate crimes and believe we must do better as a society.”

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10):

“One year ago today, 6 Asian women and 2 others were brutally murdered in what is known as the Atlanta Spa Shootings. This event, like other anti-Asian hate crimes has brought pain but it has also inspired action-- to stand up and be proud of our Asian American heritage and to call out racially motivated violence for what it is. As a Black and Korean woman, I am acutely aware of how it feels to be erased or ignored. But no matter what some may say, I matter. To my fellow Asian women, you matter.”

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01):

“One year after the heinous crimes in Atlanta, I continue to stand with our Asian American communities in Georgia, Oregon, and across the country and with the families of all those we tragically lost that day. In the past year, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased dramatically across the U.S. Our AAPI neighbors and friends were already hurting before this dangerous spike of racist attacks. Congress must continue to pass bills like the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act and reckon with our country’s history of racism against Asian Americans. I thank Chairwoman Chu for her leadership in introducing this resolution, and remain committed to supporting solutions that end the violence, hatred, and xenophobia.”

Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07):

One year ago, a gunman stole eight lives from my community in a vile and racist attack. I stand with my Asian American constituents today as we mourn. My heart remains with those lost, their loved ones, and the millions of Asian Americans traumatized by this violence amidst a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the nation. As an Atlanta community and as a nation, we must move forward together to put a stop to the hate that fueled this tragedy and to achieve justice.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“A year ago today, we witnessed a horrific, racially motivated shooting that killed eight spa workers in Atlanta. This deadly attack targeted AAPI women at a time when discrimination against their community was already at a deadly high point. Congress responded with legislation to ensure that violence toward the AAPI community is treated as a hate crime. Still, there is so much more to be done to end discrimination and gun violence in this country. On this dark anniversary, let us recommit ourselves to tackling these intertwined crises and continuing the fight for justice.”

Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46):

“Today marks the first anniversary of the Atlanta Spa shooting, a day we lost eight innocent lives. A year later, Asian American communities all over the country still face unacceptable levels of hate crimes and anti-Asian rhetoric. Asian Americans are our neighbors, friends, and business leaders. Our Asian American community represents the full promise of the American Dream, and they have contributed so much to Orange County. As we honor and pay tribute to each victim today, it’s important to highlight that our Asian American communities continue to experience a rise in hate crimes. As a nation, we must support and stand united to condemn racist violence. I will continue to work in Congress to stand up against anti-Asian racism and bigotry.”

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12):

“A year ago, Asian American women were targeted and killed during horrific shootings in Atlanta, Georgia that devastated communities across this country. Dangerous discrimination against the Asian American community has increased significantly over the last two years—leading to violence and trauma. We must stand united in condemning this senseless violence and combatting hate and bigotry in all its forms.”

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12):

“On the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta, Georgia Spa Shootings, we remember the victims of this tragic act of violence. Xenophobia, hatred, and misinformation that wrongly blamed the AAPI community for the COVID-19 pandemic led to the loss of 8 innocent lives. This horrific incident serves as a reminder that we must always stand up against bigotry and hate wherever and whenever we see it, and that we are still working to Stop Asian Hate.”

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-38):

“My heart is with the family members and friends of the eight people who were shot and killed in Atlanta one year ago today. Their lives were taken too soon from unspeakable violence motivated by hate and racism. We’ve seen an alarming increase in xenophobic attacks since the pandemic began – ranging from verbal harassment and physical assaults to this deadly shooting that left six women of Asian descent dead. This hatred didn’t come out of nowhere. It is fueled every day by the racist rhetoric used to describe the COVID-19 pandemic. It is on us to turn the page. I stand with our Asian-American and Pacific Islander community across the country in remembering the eight lives lost one year ago and recommit to ending Asian hate.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):

“One year ago, eight innocent people – mostly women of Asian descent – were tragically killed in a series of shootings across three spas in the Atlanta area. Today, on the anniversary of their death, we once again mourn this loss of life and recommit to combating hatred and racism wherever we see it. This violent attack took place as the Asian American community was facing increasing hate crimes because of racist rhetoric regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. In the year since this devastating incident, Asian Americans continue to live in fear – an unacceptable reality that we must address. In Congress, I am committed to advancing a future free of gun violence, where all our community members have the freedom to live their lives without the fear of racial targeting. All members of our community, including our AAPI neighbors and friends, deserve no less.”

Congressman David Trone (MD-06):

“The tragic shootings in Atlanta last year represented the worst our country can offer. In the last two years, our AAPI communities have experienced hate and violence that should concern all of us and bring about swift, deliberate condemnation. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I remain committed to celebrating, valuing, and protecting all Americans, regardless of their ethnicity, race, or religion.”

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12):

“The anniversary of the Atlanta Spa Shootings is a reminder that we have much work to do to eliminate hate in our country. I ask everyone to call out hate where you see it be it abusive behavior or a racist joke. Letting these acts go unaddressed creates an environment where violence can emerge. Only through understanding and solidarity can we build a country where everyone can feel safe.”