On Tuesday, police officials found at least eight people dead at three different spas in Atlanta. Video evidence led them to one suspect, Robert Aaron Long, responsible for all three shootings. Police arrested him on Tuesday night from almost 150 miles south of Atlanta.
The first shooting incident happened just before 05:00 pm local time Tuesday at Young’s Asian Massage near Woodstock, Georgia, about thirty miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. That shoring left four citizens dead and one wounded, according to the Office of Cherokee County Sheriff. In addition, Police Chief Rodney Bryant said that they found three more people died at the Gold Massage Spa on Piedmont Road in Atlanta after about one hour. Likewise, they also found a person dead at the Aroma Therapy Spa due to the shooting.
Suspect in custody after 8 people were killed & one wounded in Atlanta area attacks. Two of the shootings were at spas across the street from each other in northeast Atlanta; the other happened about 30 miles away in Cherokee County. https://t.co/CYS4BjC4Uc
— Teri Hendricks (@sykrn86) March 17, 2021
The police authorities charged the captured man on Wednesday with eight counts of murder directly connected with the attacks. Moreover, the unabashed shootings, which took the lives of six Asian descent women, spur considerable fear and outrage in the Asian-American community. According to the authorities, the suspect denied racial animus in police custody. At the same time, he told the police that he had a sexual addiction and had carried out the gunfire at the massage parlors to eliminate his temptation.
The Intentions of the Suspect
According to Cherokee County, the initial investigation indicates that the shootings could relate to the suspect’s claim of possible sex addiction. However, it was too early to know an actual cause of the terror attack, Rodney Bryant, the Atlanta Police Chief, said at a joint press conference with Cherokee County Sheriff’s officials. Further, they added that Long accepted the responsibility for the shootings in Atlanta and Cherokee County.
Long also told investigating officers that the killings his killing didn’t belong to racism. The police officers held the suspect in Cherokee County on four murders and one count of serious assault. According to city police, Long, 21, is also facing four counts of murders in Atlanta. The suspect headed to Florida before his arrest to carry out more shootings, The Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said on Wednesday. Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker also proclaimed another shooting plan for the victim in Florida.
Because of the backgrounds of the victims, several public officials raised concerns before the police news conference that ethnicity had come into play amid growing fears countrywide about anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bottoms acknowledged the Asian nationality of most of the victims. He also admits that violence against Asian Americans is a significant issue that is happening across the country. Besides, he adds that it is hateful, unacceptable, and it has to stop.
Details of the Shooting’s Victims
Six of the eight people executed in the brutal shootings at Atlanta spas were women of Asian origin, raising racialism concerns. Moreover, the police officials released the names of the victims at Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth. These are:
- Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta
- Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw
- Daoyou Feng, 44
- Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth
Whereas one person, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, aged 30, got injuries and belongs to Acworth. The Foreign Ministry in Seoul confirmed the Korean nationality of four of the eight killed. Whereas the nationalities of the remaining four were not immediately clear.
Long visited some of these targeted places in the past, Reynolds said. The suspect legally purchased the gun used in the mass shootings at a local gun store, an attorney for the company, Big Woods Goods in Holly Springs, told CNN. One source of law enforcement told news agencies that Long is on suicide watch. He also wore a vest intended to protect himself from self-harm in the mug shot.
Georgia State Representative Sam Park told CNN that he encourages Asian Americans facing hate and discrimination to make their voices heard by reaching out to elected officials, law enforcement, and community members. Raise those concerns that the officials can do as more as they can to provide support and backing and hopefully prevent misfortunes like this in the future from happening.