SOLON, Ohio — A candlelight vigil was held in Solon Saturday evening in memory of the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings that occurred on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring another.
The vigil was held at Solon Community Park.
"Since there has been a significant increase of anti Asian crimes recently, Asian communities across the nation, including in Columbus and Cincinnati, have organized marches and candlelight vigils this and next weekend," a representative said.
Members and allies of the Asian community came together to remember the victims and to support the "Stop Asian Hate" movement.
Organizer Yumin Yin said the vigil was in response to an increase in violence against Asian-Americans, including the spa shootings.
"We want to come here to condemn the violence and we look for peace, for everybody," Yin said. “We also want our voice to be heard. The pain we have in our community. At the same time, we are not looking for revenge or anything. We look for peace."
The vigil was also organized to condemn hate, racism and the dehumanization of women.
"We're saying enough is enough. And we're not going to stand for this anymore. You know, we are all Americans. And we need to come together," supporter Elena Mosley said.
Yin said his hope for the outcome of this vigil and others across the country is more understanding among people of different races, ethnicities, and cultures.
"With better understanding, more communication between different groups, or even different parties -- talk to each other and understand better in that way to reduce the violence, to find the peace in different groups of people," Yin said.
The suspect in the spa shootings, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was charged with attacking three Atlanta-area massage parlors and killing eight people, six of them Asian women.
Long was not immediately charged with hate crimes. Authorities said Long told police the attack was not racially motivated, and he claimed that he targeted the spas because of a “sex addiction.” A sheriff’s captain also said of the gunman, “It was a really bad day for him.”
Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have turned to social media to support the movement using the hashtag #StopAsianHate, which became a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings.