Atlanta Shooting Suspect Charged with Hate Crimes, Prosecution Seeks Death Penalty

On March 16, a series of mass shootings at three Atlanta, Georgia area massage parlors and spas left eight people dead, six of them Asian. On Tuesday (11), a grand jury indicted the shooter involved, 22-year-old Robert Aaron Long, on multiple counts of murder. A prosecutor also announced that she will also seek hate crime charges and a death sentence.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said Tuesday that prosecutors will pursue hate crime charges and the death penalty against the man who killed eight people at an Atlanta-area massage parlor in March. Her court filing said the hate crime charges were based on the race, nationality and gender of the four women killed.

On Tuesday, a Fulton County (Fulton) grand jury also filed an indictment charging four counts of murder, four counts of felony murder, five counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, five counts of felony possession of a firearm and a domestic terrorism charge. The indictment is for the shooting of four people in two Atlanta massage parlors and does not include a shooting at another massage parlor in Cherokee County.

A separate grand jury in Cherokee County will also decide to bring charges against Long. The shooting, which occurred at a massage parlor in suburban Woodstock, left four people dead and one injured.

The serial shooting that rocked the nation left six Asian women dead. The shooter, Robert Aaron Long, was caught by police on his way to Florida. Police said the shooter claimed his motivation for the crime was because he frequented sexually explicit places and wanted to inflict violence to slam what he perceived as temptation.

Georgia’s new hate crime law says hate crime charges cannot be filed separately. After a person is convicted of a crime, a jury must determine whether it was a hate crime, and hate crimes can increase penalties.