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Twin Cities stands in solidarity with Asian community one year after Atlanta spa shootings

Eight people, six of whom were Asian, were shot and killed last March after the gunman attacked three Asian-run spas in Atlanta.

MINNEAPOLIS — Eight minutes of silence was held in Minneapolis Wednesday to honor the eight victims killed in the Atlanta spa shootings that happened one year ago today. 

A moment of prayer followed inside the Heart of the Beast Theater in Minneapolis.

"I'm connecting with people across the nation on this day to remember what happened on this day," said Twin Cities pastor, Jenny Sung.

For Sung, the news of the shootings hit hard. "I was a pastor at a large congregation and the moment I heard it happen on the news, my heart sank."

Eight people, including six who were Asian women, were killed by a gunman who attacked three Asian-run businesses in Atlanta last March. The shootings left many in the Asian community — and across the country — in shock.

"And instantly, I was on Twitter with all of these strangers who are also Asian- American woman just lamenting and crying and holding each other," she said.
"I could no longer be silent anymore. I could no longer be patient — pretend like the things that are happening aren't. Because we are dying and we've been dying."

Now others stand in solidarity.

"Their suffering is my suffering now, for we are one woman. I, too, stand for my sisters," said one speaker.

In this space, posters hang on the wall, saying, "We Belong Here," and, "This is Our Home, Too." People here are raising their voices against recent anti-Asian violence. 

"Every time we hear about another Asian American woman being abused or murdered, or violence onto the body, it reverberates inside each of us," said Sung. "Beloved sisters, beloved family, I know that we are becoming those immovable trees and I feel so proud and so grateful to be 'very Asian.'"

President Biden also put out a statement on the one-year anniversary of the shootings, saying, "One year ago today, eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, were tragically murdered by a gunman who targeted three separate Asian-run businesses. As we honor the victims, we must work to build a future where no one fears violence."

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