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All U.S. Flags to be Lowered to Honor Victims of Tragedy in Atlanta

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President Joe Biden has ordered all U.S. flags be lowered to honor the victims of the “senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 16, 2021, in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.” Flags should remain at half-staff from March 18, 2021, to sundown on March 22, 2021.

Read President Biden’s Proclamation

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The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has identified the following victims:

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth
Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta
Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw
Daoyou Feng, 44, of an unknown address

In addition, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, of Acworth was injured, the sheriff’s office said. His condition has been listed as stable.

The Shooting

A 21-year-old Cherokee County man has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault after a March 16 spree killing near Atlanta. The suspect killed eight people in separate attacks on three metro Atlanta spas. The victims of the shootings are primarily Asian-American women.

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The suspect has admitted to the crimes, but denies the shootings were racially motivated. Georgia lawmakers have criticized the Cherokee County Sheriff Office’s acceptance of the suspect’s denial.

“When we think about taking the word of the perpetrator themselves, how many of them are going to admit that it was a racially motivated killing,” asked state Rep. Bee Nguyen, an Atlanta Democrat, and the state’s first Vietnamese American lawmaker.

These attacks occurred on the same day reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate released research revealing almost 3,800 racially motivated incidents were reported over roughly the last year (the pandemic). The number is an increase of nearly 1,000.

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As a reminder, when the U.S. flag is flown at half-staff or half-mast, it should first be raised to the top for an instant, then immediately lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. Prior to lowering the flag, it should be raised once more to the peak, then lowered.

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