KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II is denouncing racism and violence in the wake of the Atlanta-area massage businesses shootings that claimed eight lives.

Cleaver, whose House district covers the Kansas City area, met Friday with community leaders and advocates in a demonstration of support for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Cleaver has tweeted that he is “heartbroken” for the victims and their families of the attack that sent terror through the Asian American community, which has increasingly been targeted during the coronavirus pandemic.

A 21-year-old white man, Robert Aaron Long, is charged with murder in Tuesday’s slayings. Six of those killed were women of Asian descent.

Long told police that the attacks were not racially motivated. He claimed to have a sex addiction, and authorities said he apparently lashed out at what he saw as sources of temptation.