David and Tamela Mann is known as a dynamic husband and wife team that have become household names across television, movie screens, on stage and radio. They’re known for bringing good old fashion family values, laughter and music to whatever they do.
David & Tamela recently sat down for an interview with Prestige Editor-in-Chief and spoke candidly about their album Us Against the World: The Love Project that will be released on Friday November 9th, their book Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage and Family that will be released on Tuesday November 13th, their tour Us Against the World Mann Family Tour and the premiere of their movie Merry Wish Mas that will premiere on TV One on Sunday December 2nd.
In the book, David talks about always being “transparent” about their relationship and family with their fans. “In our book we’ll tell our whole story and share our secrets to a successful marriage,” David added. Tamela called their marriage a top priority and the couple’s greatest accomplishment. “We’re excited to share what we’ve learned doing life together as a couple and how to fully love your spouse,” Tamela shared. The couple shares with us their lessons on how to stay together through the ups and downs. And also provides couples with tips on how you and your soul mate can both build careers and still keep the family together and happy. Also in a quest to take fans on a 30-year journey, the Mann’s are “spilling some junk” on their relationship and how they’ve been able to persevere through it all. David gets candid and highlights the chapter, “The Knock At The Door,” where 5 years into their marriage he receives notice from the constable that he has a child. Now this child was conceived prior to their marriage, but David admits that it “almost broke [them] apart and that’s where the title, ‘Us Against The World’ came from.”
Read below Part 1 of Prestige interview with David & Tamela Mann
David: When talking about Us Against the World tour. We wanted to have something that we could actually and physically go out and be a ministry to, for us, and our marriage ministry, but we wanted to do it where it wasn’t just a concert, it wasn’t just a comedy show, and it wasn’t just a conference.
We wanted to do something that was an experience. So, we came up with the concept of having it all in one night. And so, we start the whole thing off with the whole family doing the title song.
Tamela: Us Against the World. And then my son kicks it off with a big like family reunion back yard party. He’s a DJ, so he gets it all crunk and all hyped up.
David: Do they still say, “Crunk”?
Tamela: Well, I’m old so it’s okay.
David: Okay, well, crunk. I think it’s lit now.
David: Crunk or lit. (laughter)
Tamela: Then my daughter Tia comes out and she does a neo-soul vibe set.
David: And she does a tribute to the Queen, Aretha Franklin which is a really nice tribute.
Tamela: And then David comes out and he does comedy. And he talks about our 30 years of marriage, and he’s talking more on love.
David: Yeah, I do the whole comedy set and I give little teachable moments. Like, there’s one segment during my set I ask a couple, “Do you all love each other?” And of course they say, “Yeah, we love each other.” But, “Are you guys in love?” Because it’s possible to love somebody and not be in love. And you don’t realize I’m giving moments of teaching in love, and stuff like that, because I wrap it in comedy. Then after I’m done with my set then that’s when —
Tamela: I come out and I do the gospel portion of my upbeat songs and then we kind of take a roller coaster ride. We start out fast and we slow it down.
David: We start out jumping and then end up crying. I’m like, “How did this happen?”
Tamela: And then we also incorporate a love set which are songs from our new project, Us Against the World: The Love Project, where me and David have a collaboration album that we’ve done together.
David: Now, we start the love set off with some of our friends and family to give us what their definition of love is, and so we video that to introduce the love set, and we give you the definition of what love is, what the biblical definition of love is, and they’re practical. And then Tam and I, for the first time, we sing together.
Tamela: Finally, I got David in the studio and on the stage to sing with me which he’s been running from for quite a few years.
David: I haven’t been running. I’ve just been quite honestly intimidated about singing with Tamela Mann, that’s what it is.
Tamela: No need for intimidation.
Tamela: And then we go from that and then I finish it off with —
David: The end of the worship set is what we call it. Oh, and let me back up, while we’re doing the love set we kind of do this re-dedication with couples and we do a prayer, we pray for marriages and families.
Tamela: And being unified in the unit and unity of marriage. So, we end with a prayer.
David: And then Tamela Mann takes us to straight worship again. And when I tell you it’s an experience, it’s a roller coaster ride, it’s just a little bit of everything. So, we call it the experience. And so, you know, once everybody gets the experience, we all come back out and just thank everybody for coming out. So, that’s the, Us Against the World tour.
Now, the book is, Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family. And so, what we do in the book is we take everybody on a journey, a journey of 30 years with the Mann’s. So, we kind of take you on our ups, and we take you on our downs, and there’s something in the book, even while we were writing the book we had to go back and revisit some things, issues, problems, situations that we thought we had already resolved.
Tamela: That we had dealt with in our marriage. So, I’d say there’s a few skeletons that we talk about and be transparent about. Our goal is to encourage families, and give them that hope and inspiration that they can stay together and not give up on each other.
David: There’s a few nuggets in there that you haven’t heard from the Mann’s. In the book we also share some prayers for different situations. We talk about love, we talk about finances, we talk about keeping the fire in your marriage. We talk about simple things like just sitting down and having a good laugh with each other —
Tamela: And staying committed to each other and not just tolerating each other, but loving each other through every up and down that you have, which you will have, in your relationship.
David: We also definitely deal with some of the tougher issues that come up in our life like we have one where we talk about the art of arguing where we share our biggest argument that we’ve had in the book which started out real rough and rugged, but it ended up being funny because — you have to read the book because it didn’t quite go according to plan for me in my anger.
Tamela: In the book we also talk about our blended family, how we’re a super-blended family and how we came together as one family unit.
David: Yes and about revisiting the vows. A lot of couples may not understand what they’re fully getting into when they’re talking about revisiting and renewing their vows, or even saying their vows. So, we go back and talk about revisiting and renewing our own vows.
Tamela: And we talk about the knock at the door, which was kind of a hard place in our marriage.
David: To put it mildly.
Tamela: It was five years into the marriage and we had the knock at the door and surprise!
David: I have another child by another woman that happened before our marriage, but that just to kind of give you a backstory on it without giving it all away. That’s where the, Us Against the World title and saying came from, and that was from that knock at the door in the book. It was the knock at the door and Tam was kind of like, “I’m not going to be able to do this.”
Tamela: Because we’re blended, we already had — he had one child when we started out as a couple and I didn’t know if I was going to be — I didn’t really know where I would fit in. I felt like I was going to be kind of lost in the shuffle of things. It’s like, “Well, where do I fit in here? Am I going to be like — ”
David: First, second, third, fifth?
Tamela: Or below, since we had a new child coming and then having to deal with the other baby mama drama. So, he explained to me that it was us against the world, and he really made it plain to me.
David: Once I sat her down and explained to her, “Look, I love my kids.” All of that, I’m a stand-up guy, I’m going to make sure I take care of my kids, but at the end of the day you are my first priority. It’s us against everything else. It’s us against the world. It’s us against anything that will come against us to try and tear us apart, and that’s what the whole, Us Against the World title came from. And even when we’re out on the road we say, “Us Against the World,” we’re not necessarily talking about the Mann’s against the world. We’re talking about the body of Christ.
Tamela: We’re the people as a family unit.
David: Right. And just representing us against anything that’s going to come and tear at the family structure, tear at our marriage, and anything that would come and try to destroy that, we’re against that. So, it’s not like, “It’s us fighting against everybody.”
David: It’s —
Tamela: All of us.
David: Yes all of us.
Tamela: The “U” in “Us” means you as the family, all of us. And that all filters and lead into the actual album because it’s based off of the stories that we have in the book. That’s where the love CD comes from. Us Against the World: The Love Project. So, that all fits into it, and also into why David is singing some songs to me, and I’m singing some songs to him, and we’re also singing songs together.
David: It’s our first project that we’re totally doing a whole album together.
Tamela: It’s our love music.
David: It’s straight love music. And part of the — I don’t want to say problem that we’ve had in the music industry is because Tam is such a gospel — known for her strong gospel roots.
People kind of are looking at it like, “Is she trying to cross over? Is she trying to go R&B?” That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to encourage marriages.
Tamela: And to just sing about love. You know, something from us, to us, for us, and to just actually show another side that, for one, that I’m in love with my husband, that I like my husband, and I like being with him, and I feel very secure in my marriage and the love that I have for him, and I wanted to share that in song.
David: So, what we did was took the book and we sat down with some producers and my son put together a team. David Jr. is the brainchild behind the whole album. He pulled together some producers and writers. And the reason I was so afraid at first is because it’s been so long since I’ve been in the studio. And so, I guess it’s a bit of being insecure about singing, and then singing with Tam, and so once they got the song and tailor-made them just for me, and for my voice.
Tamela: And they did. If you haven’t heard the album music yet, he’s done a wonderful job, and hopefully everyone gets a copy of it so you can actually get to hear my Christian Babyface.
David: There’s some baby-making love music. But we wanted to do genuine love music. So, we wanted to do a soundtrack from the book, and once they put the songs together, and we got to doing it, and it was like, “Where do we put this?”
Tamela: I think it’s an amazing body of work that we’ve put together and I really hope that everyone enjoys it like we enjoyed writing and listening to it. Even my grand kids, they really inspired us because they’re really enjoying it as well.
David: And some of the titles like, Mason Jar, we was able to explain to them how Mason Jar came about.
Tamela: Mason Jar is a song, it’s talking about me as young girl, teenager, how most of my friends experienced love early, and boyfriends, and everything, and I never had that, but I finally found love that I can preserve like you do preserves in a mason jar, that I could package up and put in the jar and hold dear to my heart. So, that’s what Mason Jar is about, finally finding love that I can cherish forever.
David: And then I’m doing a song on the album called Still Do. And it’s just where I’m re-dedicating my love, my vows, to Tam. It’s kind of me saying, “Look, I would do this all over again.” And so, there’s songs like that on there. There’s songs like, Feels Like. That’s your song.
Tamela: Feels Like is a song that I’m singing to David when he touches me he makes me feel like a special girl, or special woman. I mean, it’s just a wonderful thing and it gets more in-depth as you go in the song, but he makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.
David: Yup. And then there’s songs that speak about making up. One of the songs is called, Making Up and a couple of the lyrics are, “Every time we fight it feels like the end, butterflies in my stomach, and I just don’t think we’re going to come back from this.”
Tamela: And then there’s another song that’s entitled Signs.
David: Aw, yeah.
Tamela: Which talks about when you want to be with your mate.
David: In an intimate way.
Tamela: You just kind of know what’s going on.
David: You know the signs that you give.
Tamela: It’s like a special touch, or special feeling, that they give us that makes us feel like we’re number one all the time for us to commune together.
David: Or worship in a very spiritual way, hallelujah. You know, Us Against the World we call it, it’s a movement for us. It’s something that we just want everybody to join in because — our president — well, yeah. He’s talking about making America great again. Let’s make America great again, that cannot begin to happen until we get the foundation, the base, and that’s family. Husbands and wives unified, families unified.
Tamela: Let’s make marriage great again. Let’s make family great again as well.
David: And that’s when we’ll start to see America become great when we’re starting in the house, starting at home. Then it will start to infect and affect everything else around us.
When it comes to their album entitled Us Against the World: The Love Project. They’re set to drop a soulful 10-song musical collaboration about resilient and enduring love. Listening to the album, you can feel the vocal chemistry that they share.
“The whole album is an inside look at our love story and the journey we’ve been on together,” added Tamela. “So, recording this project has been really special for both of us.”
Produced by David, Tamela and their son David Mann, Jr., Us Against the World: The Love Project is a candidly honest album chronicling defining moments in David and Tamela’s relationship.
The title track “Us Against the World” features the duo’s fine vocal blend layered on top of funky, soulful grooves. On “Mason Jar” Tamela’s tender vocals pay tribute to her grandmother, mother and love of her life, David.
The two recreate an epic revelation from early on in their marriage that could have undone them on the heart-wrenching yet resolutely hopeful track “I Love You O.”
The album reconstructs other ‘big reveals’ in the couple’s relationship, leading to “Signs,” the ultimate love letter to each other.
The first single off the album is “Good Love,” a timeless romantic duet in the vein of one of the Motown classics featuring David and Tamela’s soulfully smooth harmonies.
The couple is currently on tour and tells us that couples have come forth stating their stories are helping them to “heal [their] marriage[s].” Known for their musical talents, the Mann’s couldn’t be more excited to release their forthcoming album, “Us Against The World: The Love Project,” an audio compilation that also a compliment to their new book.
Tracklist of Us Against The World: The Love Project
- Us Against The World (David & Tamela)
- Mason Jar (Tamela)
- I Love You O (David)
- Still Do (David)
- Good Love (David & Tamela)
- You (David & Tamela)
- Feels Like (Tamela)
- Ups and Downs (David & Tamela)
- Making Up (David & Tamela)
- Signs (David & Tamela)
“Good Love” video by David and Tamela Mann below:
Stay tuned for Part II of Prestige Interview with David & Tamela Mann in the December issue of Prestige.
Stay up to date on the latest with David & Tamela
Us Against The World Mann Family Tour: October 11th- November 11th
Us Against The World” Album Release Date: November 9th
Us Against The World” Book Release Date: November 13th
Merry Wish Mas” Premiere Date (TV One): December 2nd
Suspect in Colorado grocery store shooting faces 10 counts of murder, police say
The 21-year-old suspect in Monday’s massacre at a Colorado supermarket — which left 10 dead including a store manager and a police officer — faces 10 counts of murder in the first degree, police said Tuesday.Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, of Arvada, near Denver, is accused of opening fire Monday afternoon at the King Soopers store in the university city of Boulder, killing people ranging in age from 20 to 65, authorities said. Police took the suspect into custody at the store Monday afternoon, less than an hour after panicked 911 callers told dispatchers of the killings unfolding there.
Here’s what we know about the Boulder shooting suspect Alissa, who at some point was shot in the leg Monday, was booked Tuesday into county jail after being treated at a hospital, authorities said. Officers described his wound as a “through and through” gunshot wound to his upper right thigh, according to an affidavit from Boulder County. It wasn’t clear who shot him, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said.Alissa will have his first court appearance at 8:15 a.m. (10:15 a.m. ET) Thursday, according to Colorado Judicial Branch online records.
The motive in the Boulder killings — one of several mass shootings in the US over the past week — isn’t immediately known, and the investigation will take a long time, authorities said. Still, investigators believe he was the only perpetrator, they said.”I promise that all of us here will work tirelessly … to make sure that the killer is held absolutely and fully accountable for what he did,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said Tuesday at a news conference in Boulder.Police on Tuesday also released the names of those killed: Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Boulder police Officer Eric Talley, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; Jody Waters, 65.
A young grocery store manager and a heroic officer were among the 10 Boulder shooting victims. The suspect has “lived most of his life in the United States,” Dougherty said Tuesday, without elaborating.The shootings in Boulder, home to the University of Colorado’s main campus nestled by the Rocky Mountains northwest of Denver, came less than a week after shootings at three spas in the Atlanta area left eight people dead.In the past week alone, the United States has seen at least seven shootings, in each of which at least four people were injured or killed.
Witnesses describe terror and panic
Witnesses have described scenes of terror and panic at the supermarket Monday.The affidavit states Boulder police 911 dispatch received multiple calls. One caller told dispatchers the shooter shot out the window of a car and chased a man toward the street. Other callers said the shooter was wearing “an armored vest.”Multiple callers said they were hiding in the store. Employees told dispatchers they “observed the suspect shoot an elderly man in the parking lot. The suspect then walked up to the elderly man, stood over him and shot him multiple additional times,” the affidavit said.
College student Anna Haynes was across the street in her apartment when heard what turned out to be gunshots, and then looked outside and “saw a body in the middle of the parking lot.””I also saw the gunman himself holding a semiautomatic rifle,” and eventually he was “shooting rapid-fire” at something before entering the building, said Haynes, editor-in-chief of the University of Colorado’s CU Independent.”And a few seconds later, I saw people running out of the building; I heard screaming; I heard people leaving in their cars, and it just evolved into chaos within just a couple of minutes,” she said.Maggie Montoya, a pharmacy tech at King Soopers, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper she was signing people up for Covid-19 vaccinations when she heard the first shot and her store manager yelled there was an active shooter.”We all just scattered just at the first sound,” Montoya said.Montoya and a fellow pharmacist then ran into a counseling room and hid under a desk. The two of them called 911 and stayed under the desk for about an hour. They didn’t realize how close the shooter was until police announced they had the building surrounded and they heard him right outside the pharmacy.”They found his weapons right by the pharmacy,” she said, adding that she heard the shooter say: “I surrender. I’m naked.”Walking out of the grocery store was when it hit Montoya. She said she saw Olds’ body.”And that’s when it all crashed down,” she said. “It all came crashing down, seeing someone I knew dead, that wasn’t going to be able to walk out to her family.”
This image shows police escorting Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa from the supermarket, according to his brother. Ryan Borowski told CNN he was grabbing a bag of chips and a soda when he heard the first shot and saw a terrified woman running toward him. By the third shot, he was running with her toward the back of the store. They and others gathered with employees in the back.”I saw a lot of very wide eyes. … The employees in the back of the house didn’t know what was going on, so we told them that there was a shooter, and they told us where the exit was,” he told CNN on Tuesday. Images from the scene — from a livestreamer and from CNN affiliate KMGH — recorded police escorting from the building a shirtless man with blood on his leg, with his hands apparently cuffed. That man was the arrested suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, his brother Ali Aliwi Alissa told CNN Tuesday.
Police officer and store manager among those killed
The slain officer, Talley, was one of the first to respond to the scene, according to Herold. Witnesses told dispatchers they reported seeing the shooter shoot at police, the affidavit said. Officers had exchanged gunfire with Alissa at the store, Herold said.Officers wrote that Talley was down and had to be dragged out by SWAT officers, the affidavit said. Officers reported Talley had a gunshot wound to the head.
Officer who responded to a mass shooting in Boulder was killed. He leaves behind seven children Talley joined the Boulder police force in 2010, she said.Talley, a father of seven children ages 5 to 18, once had a different profession and “didn’t have to go into policing, but he felt a higher calling,” Herold said Tuesday.”He cared about this community … and he was willing to die to protect others,” she said.Olds, 25, of Lafayette, was a front-end manager at the store, her uncle, Bob Olds, told CNN.She was a “strong, independent young woman” who was raised by her grandparents, Bob Olds said. “She was so energetic and charismatic and she was a shining light in this dark world,” he told CNN.Olds and another victim were graduates of Boulder-area high schools, said Rob Anderson, superintendent of the Boulder Valley School District.Olds was a 2013 graduate of Centaurus High School and Denny Stong was a 2019 graduate of Fairview High School, Anderson’s statement read.”Several of the other victims were parents of our graduates and given the fact that this is a close knit community, there will likely be many other connections to BVSD schools both amongst those who were killed and other victims,” Anderson said.
‘Gun, gun, gun! Run, run, run!’ Grocery store witnesses describe the deadly rampage in Colorado Kroger, which owns King Soopers, said Tuesday three of the victims were employees: Denny Stong, Rikki Olds and Teri Leiker.”In the hours since the shooting, we’re learning of truly heroic acts that included associates, customers, and first responders selflessly helping to protect and save others. We will remain forever grateful to the first responders who so bravely responded to protect our associates and customers,” the company’s statement read.King Soopers in Boulder will remain closed while the shooting is being investigated, Kroger said.Suzanne Fountain “was a person who all of her life really was about doing service, helping others,” her longtime friend Helen Forster told CNN’s Erin Burnett.Forster said she met Fountain during a community theater production in the late 1980s and later hired her to work at her non-profit organization, where Fountain worked for 17 years.”She would be the first person that people would see when they walked in the door of the non-profit building that we operate, and she just would take care of everybody. She was calm and reassuring when things were stressful,” Forster said.Forster said Fountain also worked at a local hospital for a number of years and later became a Medicare consultant, helping seniors.”I think we’re still a little bit in shock, and we’re stunned. And I think we just have to take one day at a time and remember what she did for all of us,” Forster said. “You hold someone in your heart, whether they’re on the planet or not, you know. So, I think that that’s what a lot of us will be doing moving forward.”Stong was a “wise young man,” according to his coworker Logan Ezra Smith.”Me and him were both big Second Amendment supporters and would go shooting on the weekends,” Smith said. “I will miss his smile and his laugh but as well as his honesty. He put you in your place.”
What authorities say happened
Police said they were called there about gunfire around 2:40 p.m. (4:40 p.m. ET) Monday.Ambulances and officers from several law enforcement agencies arrived at the store, part of a large shopping center with a two-story strip mall next door.In scanner traffic, officers radioed that they were in a gunfight. They reported being fired at with multiple rounds through at least 3:21 p.m. local time.
Boulder Police released this booking photo of shooting suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa.A SWAT team responded to the scene, the affidavit said. An officer says they saw the shooter walking backward toward the SWAT team to be taken into custody. The shooter “removed all of his clothing and was dressed only in shorts.”Alissa did not answer officers questions about other suspects, but he did ask to speak to his mother, the affidavit said.The suspect was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m., Herold said. There was no indication of alcohol or drug use, the affidavit said.An AR-15-style pistol, modified with an arm brace, was used in the shooting, a senior law enforcement source told CNN on condition of anonymity. A search of the suspect’s home turned up other weapons, the source said.
Suspect in Atlanta shootings that left eight dead might have frequented spas, authorities say
Shootings at three Atlanta-area spas on Tuesday left eight people dead, including six Asian women, prompting widespread concern that the killings could be the latest in a surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Police said the lone suspect told investigators he has a “sexual addiction” and that the spas were “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” But the authorities added it was too early to be certain that the slayings were not racially motivated.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested after a brief manhunt Tuesday. Authorities said Long admitted he was responsible for the slayings, and they believe he acted alone.
Here’s what to know:
- Police identified the four victims killed in Cherokee County, and added that a fifth suffered wounds that are not life-threatening.
- Long was reportedly on his way to Florida to carry out additional shootings, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) said.
- Baker said that Long claimed during interviews that the acts of violence were not racially motivated. Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said that it remains unclear whether the shootings could be classified as a hate crime.
- Vice President Harris called the shootings “tragic” and expressed condolences to the families of the eight people killed. President Biden also said he was “very concerned” about the shootings.
- Georgia state Sen. Michelle Au (D) said that regardless of what authorities determine to be the motive, “it is taking place in a landscape where Asian-Americans are increasingly terrified and fearful for their lives and their safety because of these escalating threats against against our people.”
2:31 PM: Suspect’s youth pastor describes his active Southern Baptist life as a teenager
Years before being suspected of killing eight people in a suburb of Atlanta, including six Asian women, Robert Aaron Long was active in his Southern Baptist congregation, his youth pastor said Wednesday.
Long, 21, was arrested Tuesday in the three shootings.
As a teenager, Long would stack chairs and clean floors at Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Ga., said Brett Cottrell, who led the youth ministry at Crabapple from 2008 to 2017. Long’s father was considered an important lay leader in the church, Cottrell said, and they would attend Sunday morning and evening activities, as well as Wednesday evening meetings and mission trips.
“There’s nothing that I’m aware of at Crabapple that would give approval to this,” Cottrell said in an interview, referring to the shootings. “I’m assuming it’s as shocking and numbing to them as it has been to me.”
1:56 PM: Head of women’s group says those ‘most fearful to go to work today in Atlanta are Asian American women’
- © Chris Aluka Berry/For The Washington Post The back entrance to Aromatherapy Spa, one of three locations where deadly shootings happened Tuesday in the Atlanta area.
Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, said when she first saw news of Tuesday night’s shooting, she thought: “This is what we feared.”
She pointed to the disproportionate impact that anti-Asian violence has on women. Choimorrow acknowledged that even though authorities said Long, the suspect, claimed the violence was not racially motivated, she wondered whether his personal biases — and larger social factors — were important to recognize.
“The reality is this tragedy is impacting the Asian American community in ways it’s not in the other communities in Atlanta right now,” she said. “If you step back a little bit, pull back the curtains a bit, and really understand the history of how this country has perceived and treated Asian American women, it won’t be a surprise to come to the conclusion that there was some racialized motivation behind what happened yesterday.”
She pointed to a history of “exotifying” Asian American women: “Many people interact with Asian American women as service workers, right? People who do body work. Whether it’s highly professionalized as doctors who cure your body, to nurses, to child-care workers to beauty service industry, to the hospitality industry,” she said.
“The people that are most fearful to go to work today in Atlanta are Asian American women. It’s not White women, it’s Asian American women,” Choimorrow said. “They’re fearful to go to their service jobs today because of what happened yesterday.”
President Biden said Wednesday that he was “very concerned” about the Atlanta area spa shootings that left eight people dead, including six Asian women, noting the sharp uptick in violence in the United States targeting people of Asian descent.
Biden said he had been briefed on Tuesday’s violence and that the investigation remains ongoing.
“I’m very concerned, because as you know, I’ve been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple months, and I think it is very, very troubling,” Biden said. “I am making no connection at this moment to the motivation of the killer. I’m waiting for an answer as the investigation proceeds from the FBI and from the Justice Department.”
“I’ll have more to say when the investigation is completed,” he added.
Biden’s comments in the Oval Office came at the outset of hosting a virtual meeting with Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin.
1:27 PM: Atlanta rampage fits patterns seen in prior mass killings
Some details offered by authorities about the shooting rampage in the Atlanta area fit patterns seen in other mass killings.
Researchers have found that mass killers and active shooters are usually male, typically target places known to them and are often fueled by grievances. These grievances can involve attackers blaming others for their issues or otherwise perceiving some wrong, researchers have found.
Law enforcement officials said Wednesday that the suspect in the shootings at the three Atlanta-area spas “may have frequented some of these places in the past.” They also suggested during a news briefing that he described the spas as “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” one official said.
An FBI study in 2018 looking at active shooters found that most of those examined had a grievance that “may not have been reasonable or even grounded in reality, but it appeared to serve as the rationale for the eventual attack, giving a sense of purpose to the shooter.” Mass attackers also typically unnerve people around them beforehand, alarming at least someone in their lives before the outburst of violence, researchers have found.
Authorities also said that the shooting suspect told investigators that the killings were not racially motivated. In some recent high-profile cases, attackers or people charged in mass killings have been explicit about their intentions and sentiments, including during and after mass killings in Pittsburgh, El Paso and Charleston, S.C.
The suspected attacker in Pittsburgh allegedly said he wanted to “kill Jews” while rampaging inside a synagogue. Police said the man charged with killing people at an El Paso Walmart told them that he was targeting “Mexicans” that day. And the man who massacred Black parishioners inside a Charleston church detailed his racist motivations at length.
All of those massacres led to hate-crime charges.
12:43 PM: House Democrats suggest Trump’s rhetoric about ‘China virus’ to blame for rising violence against Asian Americans
Two House Democrats called out former president Donald Trump for his repeated use of terms such as “China virus” and “Wuhan virus” for the rising violence against Asian Americans the day after shootings at three Atlanta-area spas left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
Law enforcement officials said Wednesday that the shooting suspect claimed that the acts of violence Tuesday were not racially motivated. Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said that it remains unclear whether the shootings could be classified as a hate crime.
“President Trump clearly stoked the flames of xenophobia against AAPIs with his rhetoric,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday. “The CDC and the World Health Organization said we should all use the official term covid-19 in order to make sure this disease is not associated with a particular geographical location or ethnicity due to the stigma it causes. And President Trump refused to acknowledge that and instead used the terms ‘China virus,’ ‘Wuhan Virus’ and ‘Kung flu.’”
In a telephone interview with Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo Tuesday night, the former president again used the term “China virus” to describe the coronavirus.
Chu said Trump and his followers doubled down on the rhetoric and “what we saw yesterday is the result of that.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) went further, saying, “We encourage members of Congress who used that kind of hateful rhetoric — cut it out because you also have blood on your hands.”
Hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked across the United States. Since the start of the pandemic, Asian Americans reported nearly 3,800 hate-related incidents in all 50 states, according to a report released Tuesday by Stop AAPI Hate.
12:22 PM: Obama: ‘We urge meaningful action that will save lives’
12:15 PM: Asian American leader says community feels ‘hurt’ over attack: ‘I’m trying to keep it together’
Sookyung Oh, the Washington-area director of the advocacy group National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, said local Asian Americans have been nervously monitoring news coverage of Tuesday’s shooting.
“I’m trying to keep it together,” said Oh, a second-generation Korean American. “I feel hurt. Asian American people feel hurt.”
Oh said the recent attacks follow a long history of violence against Asian Americans, largely fueled by negative stereotypes and xenophobia. President Donald Trump exacerbated those problems by labeling the coronavirus the “China virus,” she said.
“I don’t know how many times somebody has asked if I’m from here,” Oh said. “The ongoing story is that we don’t actually get to belong in the U.S.”
She called on Asian Americans to be more vocal about attacks against other ethnic groups.
“We have to join with Jewish Americans, the Black community, Middle Eastern and Arab Americans,” she said. “And really be clear that we want a country where we’re not going to stand for hateful behavior.”
11:46 AM: Harris: ‘We grieve for the loss’
Vice President Harris called the shootings “tragic” and expressed condolences to the families of the eight people killed, including six Asian women.
“We grieve for the loss,” she said. “It speaks to a larger issue, which is violence in our country and to never tolerate it.”
While saying the motive of the shooter is not clear, Harris, a former prosecutor, noted that most of the victims were Asian and said no “form of hate” should be tolerated.
11:23 AM: Four Cherokee County victims identified by police
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office identified four of the people killed in Tuesday’s shootings in the Atlanta area:
-Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth, Ga.
-Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta
-Xiaojie Yan, 49, of Kennesaw, Ga.
-Daoyou Feng, 44
A fifth victim, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, of Acworth, suffered wounds that are not life-threatening, police said.
After Long, the suspect, was taken into custody, police said they recovered a 9mm firearm. They say he confessed to the shootings during his interview with authorities.
11:15 AM: ‘People in the Asian-American community are scared,’ says Georgia state senator who warned about hate crimes this week
Georgia state Sen. Michelle Au, a Democrat who represents a swath of North Fulton and Gwinnett counties, said that she was “shocked and saddened” when she first saw news of Tuesday night’s shootings, but also that she was “not surprised.”
“Obviously the events are still unfolding, and we’re still getting more information. So I don’t want to jump to any conclusions as to the motivations behind this particular crime,” she said. “But just stepping back for a bit, I think that there is a picture in this country, especially over the past year, of increasing discrimination and violence against our Asian American communities.”
She said that regardless of what authorities determine to be the motive for Tuesday’s shootings, “it is taking place in a landscape where Asian Americans are increasingly terrified and fearful for their lives and their safety because of these escalating threats against our people.”
The day before the shooting, Au had warned her fellow state senators about the surge in crimes against Asian Americans. She said media coverage of crimes against Asian Americans have largely focused on incidents in California and New York.
“I did not want this to be a story that people in Georgia ignored because they felt they were immune to it, because, first of all, there is a fairly significant and growing Asian population in the state of Georgia, particularly in my Senate district,” she said, noting that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up more than 24 percent of her district.
“The point of speaking about it in the [Senate] well is saying that there’s a brewing problem, and we need to be aware of it before it manifests,” she said.
During a news conference Wednesday, authorities said the suspect claimed the acts were not racially motivated. Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said it is not yet clear whether the shootings that killed eight people, including six Asian women, could be classified as a hate crime.
In a separate statement released by Au’s office, she added: “Our AAPI community has been living in fear this past year in the shadow of escalating racial discrimination and attacks. This latest series of murders only heightens that terror.”
11:08 AM: Suspect was possibly on his way to Florida, Atlanta mayor says
Robert Aaron Long was reportedly on his way to Florida after the shootings in the Atlanta area, the city’s mayor said.
At a news conference Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) indicated that Long, who admitted he was responsible for the shootings, had plans to head to Florida for a potential similar string of violence.
“The suspect was on his way to Florida, perhaps to carry out additional shootings,” Bottoms said.
Police say that while the suspect claimed the attacks were not racially motivated, Long showed indicators in his interview with authorities of having a possible “sexual addiction.”
10:59 AM: Shooting suspect shows indicators of ‘potential sexual addiction,’ police say
© Chris Aluka Berry/For The Washington Post ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MARCH 17: Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jay Baker waits to speak at a press conference for the deadly spa shootings that happened yesterday in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. March 17, 2021. (Photo by Chris Aluka Berry for The Washington Post)
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the suspect in the Atlanta-area shootings showed indicators of having a possible “sexual addiction” in his interview with authorities.
“He made indicators that he has some issues, potentially sexual addiction, and may have frequented some of these places in the past,” Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said at a news conference. “We still have a lot of things to process.”
Baker later added that in the interview, Long indicated that the spas were “a temptation” for him.
“It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Baker told reporters. “It’s still early on, but those were comments that he made.”
10:58 AM: Church leaders wrestle with shooting suspect’s Southern Baptist ties
Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Church’s public policy arm, said in a statement that the “shocking” shootings on Tuesday night come at a time when he has heard increasingly from Asian Americans who face escalating “immoral and unjust” bigotry.
“Christians must also lead the way in refusing to listen to and refusing to amplify the voices of those who would incite hatred against minority populations,” Moore said.
The denomination has been engulfed in an explosive debate over race in recent months, especially since Southern Baptist leaders condemned something called Critical Race Theory, an academic movement that views racism as central to society’s problems. Several Black pastors have left the denomination, and prominent Bible teacher Beth Moore revealed last week that she has also parted ways.
Long’s Atlanta church is part of a group in the SBC called Founders Ministry, which has pushed the convention in a more conservative direction in recent years.
Raymond Chang, a Korean American who is head of the Asian American Christian Collaborative, said he was disappointed but not surprised to learn Long was a member of a Southern Baptist Church.
“One of the things that is difficult about White evangelical Christian churches and spaces is that they struggle to talk about race and racism in any meaningful way and create conditions in which racism and white supremacy can sadly flourish,” said Chang, who is campus minister at the evangelical Wheaton College outside of Chicago.
He said people of color within White evangelical spaces who try to help on issues of race are often silenced, pushed out, or they burn out. The SBC, Chang said, seems to consistently spend more energy on resisting efforts to dismantle racism than address racism within its church.
10:55 AM: Police: Suspect claims shooting was not racially motivated
© Chris Aluka Berry/For The Washington Post ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MARCH 17: Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds speaks to the press as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms listens during a press conference for the deadly spa shootings that happened yesterday in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. March 17, 2021. (Photo by Chris Aluka Berry for The Washington Post)
Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said Tuesday that the killing of eight people in three separate shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors may not be a hate crime targeting Asians, but more investigation will be done to reach a final conclusion.
Police arrested Robert Aaron Long, 21, after a brief manhunt and said he is the suspect in all three shootings. Police said they interviewed the suspect Tuesday night, with the assistance of the FBI.
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said that it remains unclear whether the shootings could be classified as a hate crime.
“I think it’s important we acknowledge the fact if this is hate crime,” Bryant said at a news conference. “We are still early in this investigation, so we can’t make a determination. We are very early.”
The killings come as Asian American hate crimes have spiked across the United States. Since the start of the pandemic, Asian Americans reported nearly 3,800 hate-related incidents in all 50 states, according to a report released Tuesday by Stop AAPI Hate.
Bryant emphasized that officials are still early in the investigation.
“Even though we have made an arrest, there’s still a lot more work to be done,” he said.
Investigators will not simply take the suspect’s word for his motives, and have already spoken to his parents. They will also comb through any online postings, writings or witness accounts that may offer clues to what he did, officials said. Denying hate as a motive is unlikely to spare him any punishment, since he already faces eight counts of murder, and the possibility in Georgia of the death penalty.
10:55 AM: Atlanta mayor: ‘A crime against any community is a crime against us all’
“A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all,” Bottoms said in a statement.
Police arrested Robert Aaron Long, 21, after a brief manhunt and said he is the suspect in the shootings.
Bottoms praised law enforcement for apprehending Long. She said she is working with the White House and the Atlanta Police Department as law enforcement “investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city.”
“My prayers are with the families and friends of the victims whose lives were cut short by these shootings,” Bottoms said.
10:30 AM: Mayorkas says he has been briefed on Atlanta shootings, FBI is on the case
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday that he has been briefed on the Atlanta-area spa shootings that left eight people dead and that the FBI is on the case.
Mayorkas made his comments during his opening remarks at a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee where much of the focus is on the migrant surge at the southwestern border.
“At the very outset, I should recognize the tragic event that took place in the surrounding areas of Atlanta yesterday,” Mayorkas said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of that tragic event, those who lost their lives, as well as those who were injured.”
“We are tracking that event very carefully,” he said. “I have already been briefed on it. And I know that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is working underway to understand all of the facts and that the individual who is a suspect of that event is in custody.”
10:24 AM: Biden briefed on shooting
President Biden was briefed overnight about “the horrific shootings” in Atlanta, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday.
“White House officials have been in touch with the Mayor’s office and will remain in touch with the FBI,” Psaki said.
According to a pool report, Biden will be speak by phone Wednesday morning with Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
10:17 AM: ‘These acts of hate and violence must stop,’ Georgia secretary of state says
8:52 AM: Asian Americans in Atlanta stunned by shootings as advocates demand action
Bronze-colored plaques with the message “Wuhan plague” popped up on buildings across Atlanta. An Asian American student on his way to a boba tea shop was told, “Thanks for covid.” In suburban Atlanta, an Asian American couple returning from the movies found a slur spray painted on their car.
For months, Asian Americans in Georgia, like in many areas across the country, have faced escalating verbal abuse and harassment, local advocates said. The already on-guard community reacted with shock and fear on Tuesday as it mourned the deaths of six Asian American women and two others fatally shot at Atlanta-area spas.
The violence toward the businesses “is frightening and alarming,” Chris Chan, an advisory chair for the Asian American Action Fund Georgia Chapter, told The Washington Post.
Chan said Asian Americans in Georgia had recently faced “words yelled at us or threatening gestures and actions” but “nothing rising to what we are seeing tonight.”
7:55 AM: Victims included four women of Korean ethnicity, South Korea says
The killings come as hate crimes against Asians have spiked across the United States. Since the start of the pandemic, Asian Americans reported nearly 3,800 hate-related incidents in all 50 states, according to a report released Tuesday by Stop AAPI Hate.
Among the victims killed in Atlanta were four women of Korean ethnicity, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. South Korea’s Consulate General in Atlanta dispatched a consul to the site, according to a Ministry statement.
Local advocates said they were stunned by the shootings and called for quick action.
“We are shaken by the violence in our city that has left 8 people dead, including members of the Asian American community,” said Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta in a statement. “We are gathering information about what happened and what the needs of those directly impacted are. Now is the time to hold the victims and their families in our hearts and with light.”
7:39 AM: A timeline of the shootings — and a suspect’s arrest
The killings began just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, authorities said, when surveillance video showed a man in a navy and red hoodie walking into Young’s Asian Massage, a spa on a busy commercial strip about 40 miles north of downtown Atlanta.
Four victims were shot inside the parlor along Highway 92, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said; two died on the scene and two later died in a hospital. A fifth man, who was coming out of a nearby business, was wounded, the man’s niece told WSB-TV.
Those fatally shot were two Asian women, a White woman and a White man. A Hispanic man was taken to the hospital with injuries, Baker said.
Video showed the suspect jumping into a black Hyundai Tucson and speeding away, police said. Less than an hour later, at about 5:47 p.m., a gunman killed three women inside Gold Massage Spa, about 27 miles south of the first shooting, said Sgt. John Chafee of the Atlanta Police Department.
Police responded to a call of a “robbery in progress” at Gold Massage Spa, and were still on the scene when shots were fired across the street inside Aromatherapy Spa, according to Chafee. Officers found one woman inside that business who was also fatally shot.
With the help of surveillance footage, police said they soon identified Long, who lives in Woodstock, Ga., as the suspect. Police posted photos of the Hyundai Tucson and Long and launched a massive search. In Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, the sheriff’s office said it heard at about 8 p.m. that a homicide suspect was headed its way.
About a half-hour later, state patrol troopers and Crisp County deputies spotted a 2007 black Hyundai Tucson on the highway, and a trooper performed a tactical “PIT” maneuver, or pursuit intervention technique, that caused the car to “spin out of control,” Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said.
Long was taken to jail “without incident,” Hancock said, and his office forwarded its information to the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.
© AP/AP This booking photo provided by the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office shows Robert Aaron Long on Tuesday.
Capitol Rioter Screams at Cops Asking Them to Call for Backup to Combat Mob
Not every Trumper at the U.S. Capitol was down with the siege … or at least so it appears based on this one MAGA cap-wearing man’s convo with Capitol Police in the middle of the riot.
Check out this clip that just surfaced from Jan. 6, when the guy approached a group of Capitol Police officers who were standing off to the side … while the mob stormed into the building.
The man’s words here are telling … he asks why the cops are letting this happen, and why they haven’t called for backup — noting this is the U.S. FREAKIN’ CAPITOL THAT’S BEING INVADED, and that these people storming it are “out for blood.”
Anyway, the officers didn’t seem to respond at all, and the man continued his diatribe … telling them that if no extra help was on the way, it means they don’t care about what’s happening to the Capitol.
The whole thing is pretty ironic — a clear Trump supporter right in the thick of the action denouncing the act of breaching the premises. Now, we have no idea what his motives were here, or if he was genuinely separating himself from the illegal activity.
We’ll say this … he does seem to rejoin the mob as the video ends, but we have no way of knowing if he actually went inside the Capitol.
As we first reported, the FBI is investigating a possible Capitol inside job that allowed the siege to take place. And, of course, the Capitol Police Chief resigned too … not to mention multiple suspensions and firings that have taken place since.