President Joe Biden ordered American flags lowered to half-staff on Thursday to recognize the shooting deaths of eight people in Atlanta Tuesday.
In a statement released to reporters, the White House said the order was “a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence” perpetrated by the shooter.
Biden’s order further directs attention to the victims, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
Democrats, prominent Hollywood figures, and the left rushed to condemn the attacks as the result of a growing anti-Asian sentiment in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden described the crime as “very, very, troublesome,” Wednesday, but said he would make no connection to the motivations of the shooter until the investigation was complete.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday there was “no question” President Donald Trump’s use of the phrase “Wuhan virus” during the pandemic helped trigger a rise of hate crimes against Asians
Law enforcement revealed Wednesday the alleged shooter’s motivation for targeting the business was for providing an outlet for his sexual “addiction.”
“It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jay Baker said about the shooter. “He said it was not racially motivated.”