Atlanta Shooting Suspect Is Believed To Have Visited Spas He Targeted
March 17, 202111:05 AM ET
Surveillance camera footage released by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office appears to show the suspected gunman outside of Young’s Asian Massage — one of three spas where people were killed Tuesday.Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
Robert Aaron Long, the suspected gunman in three attacks that killed eight people Tuesday, has confessed to the crime, police said in Atlanta.
Six women of Asian descent are among the dead, raising suspicions of a hate crime. Long claims race did not play a role in his decision to target the massage parlors, police said.
Long, 21, “may have frequented some of these places in the past,” Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said, after saying that the suspect indicated to investigators that he has a sexual addiction.
Long was arrested within hours of the attacks on the three spas, after police tracked his vehicle on the interstate in south Georgia. As of Wednesday morning, none of the victims had been publicly identified.
Responding to questions of whether the shootings represent a hate crime, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said, “We are still early in this investigation, so we cannot make that determination at this moment.”
“This was a tragic day, with many victims,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. At a late-morning news conference, she said the businesses targeted in Atlanta had not been on the radar of the city’s police as potential sites of crime or trouble.Article continues after sponsor message
“We are not about to get it into victim blaming, victim shaming here,” Lance Bottoms said. “We don’t know additional information about what his motives were, but we certainly do not begin to blame victims.”