An Asian man was shot and wounded at a spa on Rainier Avenue Thursday night, but the King County sheriff’s office says the motive was robbery, not race.
The victim, a patron of the spa and the only customer present, was shot in the leg and cut from glass while leaving the building, according to Sgt. Tim Meyer, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Early Friday morning, Meyer stated that the two armed suspects who remained at large attempted a “takeover style robbery” in which they moved the client and the spa operator to a back room to gain access to cash and other property the front to have room.
“We see no evidence that this is race-related,” Meyer said, adding that the style of robbery is similar to a number of such crimes in recent cannabis business.
Meyer said MPs were called to South Bay Massage and Spa on the 12400 block of Rainier Avenue South just after 9 p.m.
At that point there were only the wounded customer and one worker in the building, he said.
The shooting comes days after a man in Georgia fatally shot eight people, including six Asian women, as Asian Americans across the country speak out against hate crimes amid the coronavirus pandemic, repeatedly referred to as the “China Virus” , have increased. from former President Donald Trump.
Georgia officials say the 21-year-old white suspect in the Atlanta shootings attributed his actions to “sex addiction,” but are investigating whether race and gender bias were factors in the shootings.
Between March 2020 and February, the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate received reports of 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific islanders across the country. Most incidents were verbal harassment, followed by avoidance and assault, according to a report released Tuesday. Hate incidents with women were reported 2.3 times more often than with men.
“Just because the police don’t label it as racism doesn’t erase what we’re experiencing right now,” said Seattle-resident Vy Nguyen, adding that it was dismissive that sex addiction was the cause of the violence on Tuesday be viewed.
Earlier this week, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and interim police chief Adrian Diaz pledged to step up patrols and protective measures.
“We mourn for Atlanta and for the victims and their families,” they said. “We also stand with our Asian-American community against the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, particularly against Chinese Americans. In Seattle and across our country, our Asian American neighbors, places of worship, and businesses have been deliberately attacked by racism, xenophobia, and acts of violence related to misconceptions about COVID-19. Only this weekend, after repeated incidents in our community, Seattle came together to defend itself against this hatred against Asian Americans. “
The two added that former Governor Gary Locke “made it so clear that hate is a virus.” And through our actions we must all be the healing. “
Governor Jay Inslee also released a statement Wednesday characterizing the violence as part of a nationwide surge in anti-Asian violence. “These shootings reflect hatred against Asians, against women and against immigrants. We all have a role in denouncing hate wherever it is revealed. “
Information from the Seattle Times archives is included in this report.