Three shootings erupted Tuesday night (March 16) at three massage parlors in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, killing eight people, six of them Asian women. Police arrested a 21-year-old man that night. Authorities said Wednesday that the man was “solely responsible” for the series of shootings.
The shootings occurred at two Atlanta massage parlors and a Cherokee County massage parlor. On Wednesday, local police held a press conference to brief the public on the development of the case and the investigation.
President Joe Biden has been briefed and said he will discuss the series of shootings on Wednesday. Vice President He Jinli expressed his support for Asian women.
Those killed include six Asian women and two white men
Jay Baker, a spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said most of the victims of Tuesday’s shooting in Joe State were Asian and two others were white.
The victims in Atlanta were all Asian, Baker said in a briefing Wednesday. “We had two Asians and two whites killed (here).”
Police revealed the names of the four victims Wednesday, and officials stressed that it is too early in the investigation to rule anything out. Police also did not provide a motive for the shootings.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that at least four of the victims were of Korean descent.
Cherokee County officials released the names of five victims who were shot Tuesday night in the county’s Young Asian Massage massage parlor in Acworth.
A statement from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said four people were killed at the massage parlor, namely
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, an Acworth resident
Paul Andre Michels, 54, a resident of Atlanta
Xiaojie Yan, 49, a resident of Kennesaw
Daoyou Feng, 44, of unknown address
The other injured person is Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, an Acworth resident, who is in stable condition.
The names of the four victims killed in two Atlanta massage parlors have not been released.
The shooter revealed himself to be a “sex addict.”
On Tuesday night, police arrested the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long.
At a news conference Wednesday, police and officials said the shootings were not believed to be racially motivated and that Aaron Long allegedly committed the murders because he thought the locations (massage parlors) were “his outlet” because he believed he had a so-called sex-addiction problem.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference that Aaron Long was traveling to Florida when he was arrested Tuesday night and said he was likely to “start more shootings.
Police arrested the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 21. (Cherokee Sheriff’s Office/AFP)
Officials stressed that the investigation is ongoing and that authorities have not yet made an official decision on the motive for the attack.
Police said Aaron Long said his attack was not racially motivated, but saw the massage parlor as a place that allowed him to relieve his “sexual addiction.
Police said Aaron Long did not resist during his arrest in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta. Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds told reporters that when investigators questioned him later, he “indicated that he had some issues, possibly a sexual addiction, and that he may have frequented some of these places (massage parlors) in the past.”
Police describe how the suspect was caught
Authorities said Wednesday that the suspect’s Family members contacted police when officers posted information about him on social media.
Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said, “Shortly thereafter, the family contacted us and indicated that (the suspect) might be their son. So we met with them. I was talking to the (suspect’s) family. They were very troubled, and that concern of theirs was very helpful (to the case).”
Law enforcement officers then traced the suspect’s phone calls and predicted his whereabouts. Crisp County (KS) police, with the cooperation of the State Patrol, pulled over the suspect.
State Patrol officers revealed the arrest process, saying they set up stop signs and authorities stopped the vehicle to detain the suspect after he drove up, and the arrest proceeded without further incident, and the suspect was then transported to the Crisp County Jail.
Baker said police found the gun in the suspect’s car. He said it is not known if the gun was legally obtained or how much ammunition was used or how many shots were fired by the suspect. Baker confirmed it was the only weapon they found.