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Biden briefed on 'horrific' Atlanta massage parlor shootings

Biden briefed on 'horrific' Atlanta massage parlor shootings
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President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE has been briefed on the shootings in Atlanta targeting massage parlors that killed eight people and wounded one other person Tuesday evening, according to the White House, and is expected to receive an additional briefing later Wednesday from top Justice Department officials.

“The President has been briefed overnight about the horrific shootings in Atlanta. White House officials have been in touch with the Mayor’s office and will remain in touch with the FBI,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBriahna Joy Gray: Biden campaign promises will struggle if Republicans win back Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Trump moves to his own blog as Facebook ban remains in place Biden on Cheney drama: 'I don't understand the Republicans' MORE said in a statement early Wednesday morning.

Psaki later said that Biden would receive a phone briefing from Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandAmerica's Jewish communities are under attack — Here are 3 things Congress can do Biden set to flex clemency powers Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray on the shootings Wednesday morning.

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Two of the shootings took place at massage parlors close to one another in Atlanta and another at a business in Acworth, a northwest suburb in Cherokee County, more than 30 miles away.

Six of those killed were Asian women, and the shootings have raised concerns about potential targeting of people of Asian descent. Biden just last week condemned violence against Asian Americans in his first prime-time address amid evidence of a rise in anti-Asian attacks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Police say that it is “extremely likely” that the same person was responsible for all three shootings Tuesday evening. Police in Cherokee County have arrested a suspect in the shooting there.

“Video footage from our Video Integration Center places the Cherokee County suspect's vehicle in the area, around the time of our Piedmont Road shootings. That, along with video evidence viewed by investigators, suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County's, who is in custody,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement Tuesday night. “Because of this, an investigator from APD is in Cherokee County and we are working closely with them to confirm with certainty our cases are related.”

Officials are expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday.

Biden is in Delaware after a trip to Pennsylvania to promote his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that he signed into law last week. The president is scheduled to travel to Atlanta later this week as part of a coordinated effort by the White House to highlight the relief bill.