Georgia’s first Black senator, Democrat Raphael Warnock, says “hate” was central to the murders of eight people, six of them Asian women, in the shooting spree at three Atlanta massage businesses earlier this week.
Appearing Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Warnock said, “Law enforcement will go through the work that they need to do, but we all know hate when we see it.”
“It is tragic that we’ve been visited by this kind of violence yet again,” Warnock added.
In an eight-minute interview with host Chuck Todd, Warnock continued: “I think it’s important that we center the humanity of the victims. I’m hearing a lot about the shooter, but these precious lives that have been lost, they are attached to families. They’re connected to people who love them. And so, we need to keep that in mind.”
Authorities initially discounted a racial motive in the killings. The shooter, announced then-Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker, told cops that he had had a “bad day,” and that his sex addiction drove him to remove the “temptation” the area spas posed. Later in the week, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared on NPR and said, “While the motive remains still under investigation at the moment, it does not appear that the motive was racially motivated.”