LeBron James Calls Atlanta-Area Spa Shootings 'Senseless and Tragic'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) looks on after scoring and being fouled during the first half in Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals against Miami Heat, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James called the shooting deaths of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at Atlanta-area massage parlors on Tuesday "senseless and tragic."

James posted a message of condolence on Twitter after the Lakers' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night:

LeBron James @KingJames

My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa. Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!! 🙏🏾❤️👑

Henri Hollis, Shaddi Abusaid and Alexis Stevens of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Robert Aaron Long, the 21-year-old primary suspect in the shootings, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with murder.

FBI agents have arrived in Atlanta to assist in the investigation, which spans three spa locations.

Local officials haven't released the names of those killed as of Wednesday morning. The investigation is also looking into the motive behind the shootings, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence," Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wrote Tuesday night on Twitter.

Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks reported hateful instances of violence, abuse or discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, found there were almost 3,800 reports of anti-Asian racism over the past year. That represented an increase of nearly 1,000 over the previous year (although that number has since climbed to just over 3,200 because of retroactive reports), and 68 percent of the reports came from women.

The NBA recently held its 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7. James' Team LeBron scored a 170-150 victory over Team Durant as the city hosted the midseason showcase for the third time.