'Targeted and murdered': Hundreds attend vigil for Atlanta shooting victims in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tuesday afternoon hundreds of people attended a vigil in Oakland in remembrance of those who were murdered in Atlanta one week ago. Asian American community members organized the vigil. Six out of the eight people killed last week were of Asian descent.

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The massive crowd joined in Madison Park to mourn the loss of life.

"Tonight is about the murders in Atlanta, but it is about how Asians look over their shoulders when they go to their cars, and it is about how we call and tell our elders to go to the store with a friend," said one organizer as she referenced the recent violence against Asians.

Police in Atlanta are still investigating the motive behind the shooting spree but say that the suspected gunman, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, told them he blames the businesses he targeted for providing an outlet for his addiction to sex.

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Those at Tuesday's rally say that in their eyes this is a hate crime, as six of the eight killed were of Asian descent.

"To see yet another case where women, Asian women specifically, have been targeted and murdered is heartbreaking and devastating," said Alvina Wong who is the director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

Judy He brought her 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son to this vigil.

"I think it is very important that they see what is going on and that they are part of the healing process with the community," said He.

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Long is suspected of killing all eight victims. Police have not yet determined if each victim was a specific target but those at Tuesday's rally believe there was an element of white supremacy involved. Something brought up several times Tuesday afternoon.

"It's both sad and scary, white supremacy is really on the attack on a lot of fronts in all sorts of forms," said Wong.

Many we spoke with are arguing and demanding that hate crime charges be brought against Robert Aaron Long, but at this point that has not happened.


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