By WBTV Web Staff | March 19, 2021 at 10:52 AM EDT – Updated March 19 at 12:55 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV/AP) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper Friday ordered all state and U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the Atlanta-area spa shootings.
Seven of the slain were women, and six of them were of Asian descent. Authorities have not released all of the victims’ names but did identify 33-year-old Delaina Ashley Yaun, 54-year-old Paul Andre Michels, 44-year-old Daoyou Feng and 49-year-old Xiaojie Tan, who owned one of the massage businesses.
“As we come together to end the spread of COVID-19, we must come together to end racial and ethnic prejudice and violence,” Gov. Cooper said. “This year we’ve seen an alarming increase in anti-Asian hate speech and violence and it must end now.”
The day before Cooper’s announcement, CBS reported President Joe Biden ordered flags at the White House and on federal grounds in the U.S. and abroad to be flown at half-staff as well in honor of the victims.
On Wednesday, Biden said he and first lady Dr. Jill Biden “are keeping everyone impacted by the shootings in Atlanta in our prayers.”
The President tweeted, “We don’t yet know the motive, but what we do know is that the Asian-American community is feeling enormous pain tonight. The recent attacks against the community are un-American. They must stop.”
Police have charged 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long with the slayings.
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