ATLANTA– Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburban areas Tuesday evening left eight people dead, a lot of them females of Asian descent, authorities stated. A 21-year-old male suspected in the shootings was nabbed in southwest Georgia hours later on after a manhunt, police stated.
Due to the shootings, Atlanta authorities said they dispatched officers to examine neighboring similar services and increased patrols in the location.
Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said in a video posted on Facebook that his deputies and state cannon fodders were alerted around 8 p.m. that a murder suspect out of north Georgia was headed toward their county. Deputies and troopers set up along the interstate and “made contact with the suspect,” who was driving a 2007 black Hyundai Tucson, around 8:30 p.m., he said.
A male thought in the Acworth shooting was recorded by security video pulling up to business around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, minutes prior to the attack, authorities stated. Baker said the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, was apprehended in Crisp County, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of Atlanta.
Nobody was arrested at the scene.
“Our whole family is hoping for the victims of these horrific acts of violence,” Gov. Brian Kemp said Tuesday evening on Twitter.
The attacks began around 5 p.m., when five individuals were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor in a shopping center near a backwoods in Acworth, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Atlanta, Cherokee County Sheriffs Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said. Two people passed away at the scene and 3 were carried to a hospital where two of them likewise died, Baker said.
Police stated video footage revealed the suspects automobile in the location of the Atlanta health spas about the time of those attacks. That, as well as other video evidence, “recommends it is very likely our suspect is the very same as Cherokee Countys, who is in custody,” Atlanta cops said in a declaration. Atlanta and Cherokee County authorities were working to confirm the cases are associated.
“It appears that they may be Asian,” Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant stated.
Around 5:50 p.m., authorities in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, reacting to a call of a robbery in progress, discovered 3 ladies dead from obvious gunshot injuries at Gold Spa. While they were at that scene, they discovered of a call reporting shots fired at another medical spa throughout the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and discovered a woman who appeared to have actually been shot dead inside business.
A state trooper performed a PIT, or pursuit intervention method, maneuver, “which triggered the vehicle to spin out of control,” Hancock stated. Long was then apprehended “without occurrence” and was being kept in the Crisp County prison for Cherokee County authorities who were anticipated to arrive quickly to continue their investigation.
FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson said the firm was helping Atlanta and Cherokee County authorities in the investigation.
Baker stated they think Long is also the suspect in the Atlanta shootings.
The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that corresponded with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.