The alleged gunman, who killed eight people at three massage parlors in Georgia last March 16, has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has charged 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long on March 17 with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault related to the first shooting at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor.
The Atlanta Police Department then charged Long with an additional four counts of murder related to the shootings at Gold Spa and at Aromatherapy Spa, which were across the street from one another.
Police took Long into custody on the evening of March 16 after an hours-long manhunt and said that he admitted to the shootings, adding that he said he was on his way to Florida to “go do some similar act” on “some type of porn industry.”
“He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference.
The suspect also denied being racially motivated despite six of the victims being women from Asian descent.
The killings also came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans in the United States.
“Whatever the motivation was for this guy, we know that the majority of the victims were Asian. We also know that this is an issue that is happening across the country. It is unacceptable, it is hateful, and it has to stop,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said.
Police said that investigators are taking a “hard look at what motivated the shooter.”
“Our investigation is far from over and we have not ruled anything out,” police said.
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