Eight people were killed and one person was wounded in the attacks at three separate spas in the Atlanta metro area Tuesday afternoon. Two of the shootings happened across the street from each other in northeast Atlanta and the other about 30 miles away in Cherokee County to the northwest of the city.
The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, GA was taken into custody without incident on Interstate 75 in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, around 8:30 p.m. Crisp Co. Sheriff Frank Reynolds said the agency and the highway patrol were alerted Long was headed their way. After his vehicle was spotted, a chase ensued and a state trooper performed a maneuver that sent the SUV out of control.
Video evidence suggests “it is extremely likely” that Long was responsible for the three deadly shootings at massage parlors in the metro Atlanta area, police said Tuesday.
“Video footage from our Video Integration Center places the Cherokee County suspect’s vehicle in the area, around the time of our Piedmont Road shootings,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a news release. “That, along with video evidence viewed by investigators, suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County’s, who is in custody. Because of this, an investigator from the APD is in Cherokee County and we are working closely with them to confirm with certainty our cases are related.”
APD said they responded to a robbery call at the Gold Massage Spa on Piedmont Road in Atlanta and found three people dead.
While there, police received another call of shots fired directly across the street at the Aroma Therapy Spa, where they found one person dead, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said.
The four victims were female and appear to be Asian, Bryant said, adding it was too early to say what their connection was to the spas.
Officials in each jurisdiction said there were no immediate indications of motive.
Due to the increase of Asian-related hate crimes in the US, the FBI is assisting local law enforcement with the shooting investigations, according to an FBI spokesperson.