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In Hopkinton, Mass., the Rally & Run To Stop Asian Hate is held to show solidarity in the wake of deadly Atlanta shootings and to mourn the loss of eight lives including six Asian women. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors unveiled murder charges against the white man accused of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas, AP reports.

Driving the news: A prosecutor filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty in the case. Two separate grand juries have now indicted the suspect on murder charges.

A Fulton County grand jury indicted Robert Aaron Long, 22, in the killings of Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant and Yong Ae Yue.

  • Long faces:
    • Four counts of murder
    • Four counts of felony murder
    • Five counts of assault with a deadly weapon
    • Four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
    • One count of domestic terrorism
  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges based on actual or perceived race, national origin, sex and gender, per AP.

A separate grand jury in Cherokee County indicted Long on counts related to the shooting spree that killed Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Yaun and Paul Michels. It's not yet known whether the county's district attorney intends to pursue hate crime charges.

  • Long faces:
    • Four counts of malice murder
    • Four counts of felony murder
    • One count of criminal attempt to commit murder
    • 11 counts of aggravated assault
    • One count of aggravated battery
    • One count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
    • One count of criminal damage to property

What to watch: The high-profile case could test the state's new hate crimes law, which was signed into law last year.

  • According to Georgia law, a hate crime cannot be charged on its own. Only after a person is convicted of an underlying crime can a jury decide the merits of such a charge, which carries an additional penalty.

The big picture: The shootings, which came amid a yearlong spike in anti-Asian hate, increased fear among Asian Americans and sparked outcry across the country.

  • In 16 of the United States' largest cities and counties, reports of anti-Asian hate crimes have surged 164% since this time last year, according to a recent study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University San Bernardino.
  • In April, the Senate passed a rare bipartisan bill to address anti-Asian hate. The House is expected to take up its version of the legislation in May.

Go deeper: The centuries-long history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Robert Aaron Long's indictment in Cherokee County.

Go deeper

Georgia repeals citizen's arrest law after Ahmaud Arbery shooting

Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, during a candlelight vigil for her son at New Springfield Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Georgia, on the first anniversary of his death in February. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Monday signed into a bill repealing a citizen's arrest law from 1863.

Why it matters: The legislation was passed in response to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, who Kemp said had been "a victim of vigilante-style violence that has no place in our country or our state."

Ben Geman, author of Generate
28 mins ago - Energy & Environment

A $1 billion plan to deploy clean power in developing nations

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Two foundations just unveiled a $1 billion initiative to help deliver clean energy to huge numbers of people worldwide who lack electricity access — and they hope it catalyzes vastly more outside capital.

Driving the news: The Rockefeller and Ikea foundations said the new program "aims to reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and to empower 1 billion people with distributed renewable energy."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
54 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Sweetgreen files for IPO

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sweetgreen, one of the earliest "better for you" quick-serve restaurant chains, has filed confidentially for an IPO, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: The company has been a rumored IPO candidate for years, and now is coming out as a post-pandemic growth play.