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Suspect Charged With Murder After Killing 8 in Atlanta Spa Shooting Spree



  • A 21-year-old male suspect was charged Wednesday for shooting and killing eight people at three spas. Six of the people were Asian women, prompting fears that the killings were hate crimes.
  • In a press conference Thursday, law enforcement officials said the suspect admitted to the crimes but argued that it was too early to determine if the attack was racially motivated.
  • Cherokee County Sheriff’s Captain Jay Baker told reporters the alleged killer said his actions were not based on race, instead saying that he wanted to “eliminate” the spas as “temptations” for his sex addiction
  • Many social media users condemned the police response, arguing that what they had described was inherently racial.

Law Enforcement Provide Details on Georgia Spa Shootings

Eight people were shot and killed in three different Atlanta-area spas Tuesday night, including six Asian women, raising concerns that the attacks could be the latest in a surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans.

Police said Tuesday that they had arrested a 21-year-old white man from Woodstock, Georgia about 150 miles south of Atlanta after a brief manhunt. Authorities announced Wednesday that they had charged the man with eight counts of murder and homicide and one count of aggravated assault.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, law enforcement officials said the suspect did admit to the crimes while telling them he had a “sexual addiction” and was traveling to Florida when they arrested him.

The officers also said they believe he may have frequented the parlors in the past, and that he may have been aiming to commit similar violence at a business connected to the “porn industry” in Florida. 

Notably, police have also not yet offered up a motive for the attack, and this morning, they said they are not able to determine if it can be considered a hate crime because it’s still too early in the investigation.

However, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Captain Jay Baker said that the suspect told officers his actions were not racially motivated.

“He does claim that it was not racially motivated,” he said. “He apparently has an issue with what he considers a sex addiction and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places, and it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” 

When asked if there were any signs that the shootings were a hate crime, Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds responded: “The indicators right now are that it may not be. It may be targets of opportunity. Again, we believe that he frequented these places in the past and may have been lashing out.” 

Reynold’s office also said in a separate statement to some media outlets that the suspect “told investigators that he blames the massage parlors for providing an outlet for his addiction to sex.”

Public Connects Shooting To Anti-Asian Hate

The remarks by law enforcement officials drew significant public backlash from people who argued what these officers had described was a hate crime.

“The fucking gall of a white male mass murderer to confidently tell on himself to police,”  YouTuber Eugene Lee Yang tweeted. “The piece of shit said, ‘I’m not racist because I have a sex addiction that made me eliminate people and places I’m tempted by, which are Asian women at Asian spas.’ THAT’S A HATE CRIME.” 

Others echoed that sentiment, emphasizing how Asian women are fetishized and commodified in western culture. 

Some also said the fact that the suspect viewed these women as objects he could “eliminate” proved the racial nature of the crime.

“Asian people, especially women, are seen & treated as existing for the use, convenience, & enjoyment of white people,” one user wrote. “Now our lives are simply fodder for personal absolution to a white man with a gun. To suggest that race isn’t relevant is spitting in our faces. #StopAsianHate”

Others, like actor George Takei, argued that even if the crime was noy racially motivated, the intent cannot be divorced from the racial nature of the act.

Rise in Asian Hate Crimes

The point was also something that was hit on by politicians and celebrities who condemned the act using the trending hashtag #StopAsianHate, noting how crimes against Asian Americans have risen drastically in the last year.

Many specifically cited a statistic from the organization Stop AAPI Hate, which reported that there have been 3,800 anti-Asian incidents in the last year, most of which were against women.

Some people, including author and television host Padma Lakshmi, pointed to former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric around the coronavirus, arguing it directly contributed to the spike in incidents. Many also pointed out that as recently as Monday, Trump was on Fox using racist slurs that may have incited more violence.

Still, the director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, Sung Yeon Choimorrow, said this is a problem that has existed before the pandemic.

“Even before the pandemic and the racist scapegoating that came in its wake, AAPI women routinely experienced racialized misogyny,” she said. “Now, our community, particularly women, elders, and workers with low-wage jobs, are bearing the brunt of continued vilification.”

Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders or suspected mass murderers who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.


Survey and Census Data Shows Record Number of Americans are Struggling Financially



Americans are choosing not to pursue medical treatment more and more frequently as they encounter money troubles.

A recent federal survey shows that a record number of Americans were worse off financially in 2022 than a year prior.

Coupled with recent census data showing pervasive poverty across much of the country, Americans are forced to make difficult decisions, like foregoing expensive healthcare. 

According to a recent Federal Reserve Bureau survey, 35% of adults say they were worse off in 2022 than 2021, which is the highest share ever recorded since the question was raised in 2014. 

Additionally, half of adults reported their budget was majorly affected by rising prices across the country, and that number is even higher among minority communities and parents living with their children.

According to recent census data, more than 10% of the counties in the U.S. are experiencing persistent poverty, meaning the area has had a poverty rate of 20% or higher between 1989 and 2019. 

16 states report at least 10% of their population living in persistent poverty. But most of the suffering counties were found in the South — which accounts for over half the people living in persistent poverty, despite making up less than 40% of the population. 

These financial realities have placed many Americans in the unfortunate situation of choosing between medical treatment and survival. The Federal Reserve study found that the share of Americans who skipped medical treatment because of the cost has drastically increased since 2020. 

The reflection of this can be found in the overall health of households in different income brackets. 75% of households with an income of $25,000 or less report being in good health – compared to the 91% of households with $100,000 or more income. 

See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (Federal Reserve)

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Montana Governor Signs TikTok Ban



The ban will likely face legal challenges before it is officially enacted next year. 

First Statewide Ban of TikTok

Montana became the first state to ban TikTok on Wednesday after Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed legislation aimed at protecting “Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.”

The ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, though the law will likely face a handful of legal challenges before that date. 

Under the law, citizens of the state will not be held liable for using the app, but companies that offer the app on their platforms, like Apple and Google, will face a $10,000 fine per day of violations. TikTok would also be subject to the hefty daily fine. 

Questions remain about how tech companies will practically enforce this law. During a hearing earlier this year, a representative from TechNet said that these platforms don’t have the ability to “geofence” apps by state.

Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, told the Associated Press that app stores could have the capability to enforce the restriction, but it would be difficult to carry out and there would be a variety of loopholes by tools like VPNs.

Montana’s law comes as U.S. politicians have taken aim at TikTok over its alleged ties to the CCP. Earlier this year, the White House directed federal agencies to remove TikTok from government devices. Conservatives, in particular, have been increasingly working to restrict the app.

“The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” Gov. Gianforte said in a Wednesday statement. 

Criticism of Montana Law

TikTok, however, has repeatedly denied that it gives user data to the government. The company released a statement claiming Montana’s law “infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people” in the state. 

“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” the company said. 

The American Civil Liberties Union condemned Montana’s law for similar reasons. 

“This law tramples on our free speech rights under the guise of national security and lays the groundwork for excessive government control over the internet,” the ACLU tweeted. “Elected officials do not have the right to selectively censor entire social media apps based on their country of origin.”

Per the AP, there are 200,000 TikTok users in Montana, and another 6,000 businesses use the platform as well. Lawsuits are expected to be filed against the law in the near future.

See what others are saying: (Associated Press) (Fast Company) (CBS News)

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How a Disney-Loving Former Youth Pastor Landed on The FBI’s “Most Wanted” List



 “Do what is best, not for yourself, for once. Think about everyone else,” Chris Burns’ 19-year-old son pleaded to his father via The Daily Beast. 

Multi-Million Dollar Scheme 

Former youth pastor turned financial advisor Chris Burns remains at large since going on the run in September of 2020 to avoid a Securities Exchange Commission investigation into his businesses.

Despite his fugitive status, the Justice Department recently indicted Burns with several more charges on top of the $12 million default judgment he received from the SEC. 

Burns allegedly sold false promissory notes to investors across Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. The SEC claims he told the investors they were participating in a “peer to peer” lending program where businesses that needed capital would borrow money and then repay it with interest as high as 20%. Burns allegedly also reassured investors that the businesses had collateral so the investment was low-risk. 

The SEC says that Burns instead took that money for personal use. 

Burns’ History 

Burns began his adult life as a youth pastor back in 2007 before transitioning into financial planning a few years later.  By 2017, he launched his own radio show, The Chris Burns Show, which was funded by one of his companies, Dynamic Money – where every week Burns would “unpack how this week’s headlines practically impact your life, wallet, and future,” according to the description. He also frequently appeared on television and online, talking about finances and politics. 

The SEC alleges that he used his public appearances to elevate his status as a financial advisor and maximize his reach to investors.

His family told The Daily Beast that he became obsessed with success and he reportedly bought hand-made clothes, a million-dollar lakehouse, a boat, several cars, and took his family on several trips to Disney World. His eldest son and wife said that Burns was paying thousands of dollars a day for VIP tours and once paid for the neighbors to come along. 

Then in September 2020, he reportedly told his wife that he was being investigated by the Securities Exchange Commission but he told her not to worry. 

The day that he was supposed to turn over his business documents to the SEC, he disappeared, telling his wife he was just going to take a trip to North Carolina to tell his parents about the investigation. Then, the car was found abandoned in a parking lot with several cashier’s checks totaling $78,000

FBI’s Most Wanted

The default judgment in the SEC complaint orders Burns, if he’s ever found, to pay $12 million to his victims, as well as over $650,000 in a civil penalty. Additionally, a federal criminal complaint charged him with mail fraud. Burns is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. 

Last week, the Justice Department indicted him on several other charges including 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. 

“Burns is charged for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from clients in an illegal investment fraud scheme,” Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Financial crimes of this nature can cause significant disruptions to the lives of those who are victimized, and the FBI is dedicated to holding these criminals accountable.”

His family maintains that they knew nothing of Burns’ schemes. His wife reportedly returned over $300,000 that he had given to her. 

She and their eldest son, who is now 19, told The Daily Beast they just want Burns to turn himself in, take responsibility for his actions, and try to help the people he hurt. 

“Do what is best, not for yourself, for once. Think about everyone else,” Burns’ son said in a message to his father via The Daily Beast. 

See what others are saying: (The Daily Beast) (Fox 5) (Wealth Management)

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