Man Charged with Killing 8 People at Georgia Massage Parlors
ATLANTA (AP) — 7 15 p.m. (Wednesday) A former youth ministry leader at Crabapple First Baptist Church in Alpharetta tells The Washington Post that the 21-year-old charged with shooting eight people, most of them women of Asian descent, at three Atlanta-area massage parlors, was a member of the congregation.
Brett Cottrell told the news outlet on Wednesday that suspect Robert Aaron Long and his father attended activities at Crabapple on Sundays, as well as weekday meetings and mission trips.
Elders at the church said in a statement that they were “grieved” to learn about the shooting Tuesday and are “heartbroken for all involved.”
“We grieve for the victims and their families, and we continue to pray for them,” the elders’ statement said. “Moreover, we are distraught for the Long family and continue to pray for them as well.”
Alpharetta is a suburb about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Atlanta and about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of Long's hometown of Woodstock.
Police in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County say they've begun extra patrols in and around Asian businesses there following the shooting at three massage parlors in the area that killed eight, most of them women of Asian descent.
In a statement, Gwinnett County police say there are no known threats but the patrols will continue for the foreseeable future.
Authorities have arrested 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long in the shootings at massage parlors in Atlanta and one in Cherokee County. He's been charged with eight counts of murder.
Authorities say the suspect in the deadly shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors has now been charged with eight counts of murder.
Four of the counts against 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long are related to shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta. The other four are related to shootings at a massage parlor in Cherokee County.
Eight people, most of them women of Asian descent, were killed in the shootings Tuesday.
Atlanta police have released recordings of 911 calls from the deadly shooting at two massage parlors there.
In a call made Tuesday at 5:47 p.m., a woman gives the dispatcher the address and says there's a robbery at Gold Spa. The woman was speaking in accented English and at times, she and the dispatcher have trouble understanding each other.
When asked where the suspect is, the woman tells the dispatcher she doesn't know and that she's hiding.
Ten minutes later, a call comes in from a woman reporting that a man entered Aromatherapy Spa and shot a gun and a woman was hurt. The caller says she’s not at the business but that her friends are and are hiding in a back room.
Authorities have arrested 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long in those shootings and in shootings at a massage parlor in Cherokee County. A total of eight people were killed in the shootings.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says he was heartbroken by the shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors that killed eight people, most of them women of Asian descent.
At a news conference Wednesday in Times Square, Yang said it was “a devastating and heartbreaking day around the country, particularly for Asian Americans."
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the Tuesday shootings “domestic terrorism” and said police counterterrorism units would be deployed in Asian neighborhoods around New York City.
In a floor speech, U.S. Rep. Marilyn Strickland said the shooting has elements she is trying to address in Congress such as gun violence, violence against women and the rise of of violence against people of Asian descent. Strickland is the first Korean American woman elected to Congress.
The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of 150 organizations nationwide, reaffirmed its solidarity with Asian American and Asian immigrant communities following the shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors that killed eight people.
Leaders in the coalition also issued a warning about demagogues who they say continue to use the coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainty as leverage for drumming up fears about the Asian American and Asian immigrant communities.
A white man is accused in the killings and most of the victims are women of Asian descent.
Following the release Wednesday of its report showing a surge in the distribution of white supremacist propaganda in 2020, the Anti-Defamation League told The Associated Press a significant number of the propaganda included anti-immigrant rhetoric.
The anti-hate group said 10% of propaganda descriptions in its inventory of more than 5,000 cases contained negative references to immigration, multiculturalism or diversity.
The suspect in the shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors that killed eight has been charged with murder and assault.
Authorities in Cherokee County say 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long was charged with four counts of murder and one count of assault in the shooting at a massage parlor there.
The other victims were killed at two massage parlors in Atlanta.
Officials said they’re still investigating whether the Georgia killings were hate crimes amid concerns over a wave of attacks on Asian Americans. Six of the victims were Asian and seven were women. Authorities said the the man accused in the shootings told police his act wasn’t racially motivated and that he potentially had a “sex addiction.”
The shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors that killed eight is the sixth mass killing this year in the United States and the deadliest since the August 2019 Dayton, Ohio, killing that took nine lives.
That's according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.
The Tuesday shooting follows a lull during the pandemic in 2020 that had the smallest number mass killings in more than a decade. The database tracks mass killings defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter.
Officials said they're still investigating whether the Georgia killings were hate crimes amid concerns over a wave of attacks on Asian Americans. Six of the victims were Asian and seven were women. Authorities said the the man accused in the shootings told police his act wasn't racially motivated and that he potentially had a “sex addiction.”
Authorities say the suspect in a series of shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors that killed eight was also planning to go to Florida to attack “some type of porn industry.”
Officials didn't say if the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, ever went to the parlors where the shootings occurred Tuesday but said he possibly had a sex addiction.
Authorities also said Long was acting alone and that a 9mm handgun was found in his car when he was arrested.
Officials said they are still investigating whether the deaths were hate crimes amid concerns over a wave of attacks on Asian Americans. Six of the victims were Asian and seven were women.
Authorities have released some of the names of the victims who were slain in a series of shootings at massage parlors in the Atlanta area.
The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office identified the victims who died there as: 33-year-old Delaina Ashley Yaun, 54-year-old Paul Andre Michels, 49-year-old Xiaojie Tan and 44-year-old Daoyou Feng.
The sheriff's office identified an injured person as 30-year-old Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz.
The series of shootings Tuesday at three Atlanta-area massage parlors left eight people dead.
Police arrested a white 21-year-old Georgia man who they say has taken responsibility for the shootings, while denying they were racially motivated, though many of the victims were women of Asian descent.
Instead, officials told reporters Wednesday that Robert Aaron Long said he was a frequent visitor of massage parlors and intended to eliminate the temptation he thought they posed.
Georgia officials say it’s too early to determine whether the shooting that left eight dead at massage parlors in the Atlanta area was a hate crime.
The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Georgia, was questioned by officials and authorities said he had frequented parlors in the past and may have a potential “sex addiction.” But officials wouldn’t say whether he’d ever been to the parlors where the shootings took place or if the parlors were places where sex took place.
Long is accused in a series of shootings over nearly an hour at three Atlanta-area massage parlors that left eight people dead and raised fears that the attack was another hate crime against Asian Americans. Officials say he has admitted to the shootings but said they were not racially motivated.
They are still investigating.
The attacks began Tuesday evening, when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor near Woodstock, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Atlanta. Two people died at the scene, and three were taken to a hospital where two died.
Long was expected to be arraigned Thursday.
10:40 a.m. Wednesday (UPDATE) The man accused of killing eight people at massage parlors in the Atlanta area told police his act was not racially motivated, and that he had a potential “sex addiction.”
Still, officials said they were investigating whether the deaths were hate crimes amid concerns over a wave of attacks on Asian Americans. Six of the victims were Asian and seven were women. Officials did not say that Robert Aaron Long ever went to the parlors where the shootings occurred.
Many suspects who commit mass shootings have a history of violence against women. Still, the attack haunted members of the Asian American community who saw the shootings as an attack on them.
9:50 p.m. Tuesday (Original Story): Authorities say a 21-year-old man has been captured hours after eight people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors.
Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, was taken into custody in Crisp County on Tuesday night. Crisp County is about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Four people were killed at a massage parlor in Acworth. Shortly after, three people were killed at a spa in northeast Atlanta, while a fourth person was killed at another spa across the street.
(Authors include KATE BRUMBACK/AP & and ANGIE WANG/AP)