Three attacks at several massage parlors near Atlanta, Georgia, led to at least 8 fatalities and police said they captured a 21-year-old suspect hours later.
The shootings spanned three businesses across two counties around Atlanta.
One shooting at a Cherokee County massage parlor claimed the lives of four people, police said. The incident at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor unfolded about 5 p.m. and by the time police arrived two people had already died while two others died after they were taken to a hospital. Another victim was also admitted to the hospital.
A second shooting was reported about 45 minutes later and 30 miles away at another business. Police found three women who had been killed by apparent gunshot wounds.
A third shooting was then reported across the street at another business. Police found one woman dead there.
The two businesses were identified as the Aromatherapy Spa and the Gold Spa.
Police were able to identify a suspect in the first shooting and they released a photo from surveillance video to the public. Very soon after, they found 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long from Woodstock, Georgia, and arrested him through the use of a pit maneuver.
#Breaking @CrispCoSheriff arrested 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long without incident for the deaths of eight people af… https://t.co/9Mb0AbnS7s
— Ariana J. Triggs (@Ariana J. Triggs)1615948247.0
“It does not appear that robbery or theft was a motive, but that’s one of the things we’re looking into,” said sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker. “We don’t know what his motive was when he arrived or what motivated him to do something like this.”
NBC News reporter Blayne Alexander reported that police had connected the man to all three shooting incidents.
An acquaintance of Long’s told the Daily Beast that he was “nerdy” and seemed very innocent.
“He was a hunter and his father was a youth minister or pastor. He was big into religion,” the identified person said.
Police later confirmed that at least six of the victims appeared to be Asian, fueling suspicions that the assault might have been a hate crime. Police have also said they are not ruling out a hate crime.
Here’s a local news story about the lethal shootings:
Suspect in custody after several killed at Atlanta area spas