PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More than 24 hours after a deadly shooting spree in Georgia that killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, the Philadelphia community came together Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of anti-Asian violence. The violence adds to the growing concern in Asian-American neighborhoods.

People made a point to come out and support the Asian community.

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The Center for the Study on Hate and Extremism at California State University reports that crimes targeting Asian Americans have risen dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic.

It’s prompted Philadelphians from all walks of life to come out to show support for a group they say has been forced to live in fear for their safety, their families and for their future.

“Our communities have been so scared, they were scared before COVID-19, but they’re even more scared now,” said Asian Americans United Executive Director Alix Webb.

On Wednesday night, dozens gathered in Chinatown to call attention to and mourn for the victims of anti-Asian violence. It follows the shooting deaths of eight Atlanta spa workers Tuesday, and a surge in hate crimes since the start of the pandemic.

“There have been incidences of vandalism of people’s private property, their cars, their homes,” Webb said.

“It’s wrong, it’s un-American, and it must stop,” President Joe Biden said.

Biden with strong words for unity as incidents of anti-Asian crimes have increased 150% in the last 12 months.

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“These are essential workers, they make our communities run, they run the small businesses that are important to us,” Webb said.

The vigil welcomed diverse participants and spanned generations hopeful for change.

“White supremacy and violence affect all of us,” one woman said.

“We have a serious problem with empathy in this country,” one man said.

Kay Yoon and her daughters, who painted signs reading “stop Anti-Asian hate” and “protect Asian women,” attended.

“My hope is that they don’t have to live with the fear or anxiety of being attacked or harassed for who they are,” Yoon said.

Organizers fear many crimes against Asian Americans go unreported. They encourage anyone who sees a crime to report it at They say acknowledging the total extent of the problem is a critical step toward solving it.

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CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.