WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Wednesday he was waiting for more information on the Shootings in the Atlanta area before assigning a motive, he called the deaths of Asian Americans “very, very worrying.”
“Whatever the motivation here, I know Asian Americans are very concerned,” he said in brief remarks before a virtual meeting with the Irish Prime Minister. “I’m not connecting to the killer’s motivation at the moment.”
Biden, who noted that he “spoke about the brutality against Asian Americans,” said he would have more to say as the investigation into the shootings at three massage parlors progressed.
At least one shooter killed eight people on Tuesday, six of whom were women of Asian origin.
At a separate event, Vice President Kamala Harris said in a message to “our Asian-American community” that “we stand by you and understand how this has terrified, shocked and outraged everyone.”
First Lady Jill Biden said her heart goes out to the victim’s families.
“I hope all Americans will pray with me for all who have been affected by this pointless tragedy,” she said at an event in New Hampshire.
More:Will the Atlanta shootings fuel action against hate crime laws in Asia?
Authorities said Wednesday the suspect may have previously visited stores but it is too early to determine whether the shootings would be considered a hate crime.
At least four of the victims of the massages at the massage parlor in Atlanta were women of Korean origin, the South Korean State Department said on Wednesday. Two more were of Asian descent, police said.
At Biden spoke to the nation Last week, a year after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, he condemned “vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans that have been attacked, molested, accused and scapegoated”.
“Right now, so many of you, our fellow Americans, are at the forefront of this pandemic trying to save lives and yet you are being forced to live in fear for your life just walking the streets of America,” he said. “It’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it has to stop.”
Featuring: Jordan Culver, USA TODAY.