Massage parlor massacres suspect says he loved Guns & God
A Georgia man who professed a passion for guns and God was in custody on Tuesday night after a string of shootings that police said appeared to target Asian women at massage parlors and left eight people dead.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Georgia, was caught on video at the crime scenes and later nabbed on a highway two hours south of Atlanta following a police chase, authorities said.
Police stressed that it was too early to announce a motive—but at least four of those killed were of Korean descent, and the horrific attacks come amid a wave of targeted violence against the Asian-American community.
A trickle of details about the suspect, who went by his middle name, offered few clues.
“Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life,” read the tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Long.
A student who graduated from Sequoyah High with Long in 2017 who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Daily Beast,
“He was very innocent seeming and wouldn’t even cuss. He was sorta nerdy and didn’t seem violent from what I remember. He was a hunter and his father was a youth minister or pastor. He was big into religion.”
The rampage began at Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth in Cherokee County, where two people were killed, one other person succumbed to their injuries en route to a nearby hospital, and one died while in treatment, according to the sheriff’s office. The victims were two Asian women, a white woman, and a white man, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A Hispanic man was also injured in the shooting and was rushed to a hospital for medical treatment, a spokesman for the sheriff said.
About an hour later and 30 miles away, two spas on the same Atlanta street—Gold Spa and one in Aroma Therapy Spa—were targeted by gunfire, and four Asian women were killed.