ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Police say six of the eight victims in the Atlanta spa shootings, on Tuesday night, were Asian women, while the other two included a white man and a white woman.
The 3 shootings spanned across the Metro-Atlanta area. Police say the first shots rang out before 5 pm Tuesday at Young’s Asian massage parlor in Northwest Atlanta, while the others were at Aroma Therapy Spa and Gold spa in Northeast Atlanta.
Police say the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, says the crime was not racially motivated but blames the massage parlors as an outlet for his sex addiction.
Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri brings us the latest developments from Atlanta.
3 separate spa shootings, 2 counties in Atlanta, 1 suspect.
Atlanta police are piecing together clues as to why 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long pulled the trigger Tuesday evening at 3 different massage parlors area in the Metro Atlanta area.
“6 Asian women are dead. The meaning of this during the pandemic when there is a rise in anti Asian hate you can’t help but raise that context.”
Police say race was not a factor that killed 8 people 6 of them Asian women.
Captain Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said, “According to Mr. Long he says its not racially motivated and saw these massage parlors and caused him to do things and has a sex addiction.”
Sam park Gwinnett County state representative said, “Regardless of the motive, it was violence committed on violence and women of color, Asian American women to be specific.”
Bonnie young an Asian American community advocate and Atlanta resident said, “We need our safety, we need our security. We are members of this American society. Asian Americans are not foreigners. We are here. We are voting. We are vocal. We are not silent.”
Investigators arrested him 150 miles south of Atlanta where police say he was on his way to Florida to commit a similar crime.
But racially motivated or not, Atlanta’s Asian American community says the violence needs to stop.
Bonnie young said, “Asian American communities aren’t pigeon holed as this community of victims and work in this industry. That’s not who we are. We are not foreigners. We are Americans.”
Investigators have charged him on 4 counts of murder, 1 count of aggravated assaulted without bond.
Cherokee county investigators say Robert Long will have his first court appearance tomorrow.
Atlanta police are not investigating the 911 tapes or surveillance video just yet because it’s an on going investigation.