Six Asian women were confirmed dead among the eight killed and one wounded in a mass shooting in the Atlanta area on Tuesday night.
Who they were: Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) released a statement about the shooting on Wednesday, naming five of the victims from the first massage parlor, Youngs Asian Massage.
- Four people have died at Youngs Asian Massage: Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth; Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta; Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw; Daoyou Feng, 44, unknown address. A fifth victim, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, was wounded and is in stable condition in Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta. He is the only survivor.
- Another four people were killed at the remaining two massage parlor locations. No others have been identified as of this writing.
- The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 21, was found with a 9mm firearm. He is charged with eight counts of murder, one count of aggravated assault and no bond.
- Earlier on Wednesday, AP had reported that South Korea’s Foreign Ministry confirmed with police that four of the victims who were killed were of Korean descent.
Three parlors: On Tuesday night, a string of shootings occurred around the Atlanta area.
- Long first stopped at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor around 5 p.m. and gunned down five people there.
- He then moved on to Gold Spa, 27 miles away, about an hour later, leaving three women dead.
- At Aromatherapy Spa, across the street from Gold Spa, another woman died from gunshot wounds, according to the New York Times.
- He was arrested at around 8:30 p.m. and taken to the Crisp County Detention Facility, according to WSB-TV.
- Long is set to be arraigned Thursday morning, according to NPR.
- Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Atlanta (AAAJ-Atlanta), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Georgia’s Governor Brian P. Kemp, POTUS Biden, VP Kamala Harris among others, have released statements condemning the shooting and the violence against the AAPI community.
Conference details: In a police conference on Wednesday morning, more details emerged after the authorities questioned the suspect.
LIVE: Atlanta police provide update on investigation into Piedmont Road spa shootings https://t.co/7octewAcA2
— CBS46 (@cbs46) March 17, 2021
- Long admitted to the shootings and was deemed to be acting alone by authorities. He claims that the attacks were not racially motivated and that he has “a sex addiction.”
- “We believe that he frequented these places in the past and may have been lashing out,” Sheriff Frank Reynolds of the CCSO said.
- “[He] sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places…and it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” CCSO Capt. Jay Baker added.
- Further details on his motives are unclear, when asked if this is a hate crime, Reynolds and Baker stated that the case is still early in its investigation and that the indicators at the moment are that it may not be. The victims “may be targets of opportunity.”
- Baker noted that Long was driving to Florida to possibly carry out more shootings, or “do some similar acts,” targeting some type of “porn industry” there.
- When asked about the legitimacy of the three massage parlors and whether or not the women employed were sex workers, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms denounced any sort of “victim blaming.”
- “We are not about to get into victim blaming, victim shaming here,” Lance Bottoms said. She stated they never received a 911 call from that area and to their knowledge (APD) it’s a legal establishment.
- The investigators will continue looking into this case, among those his social media history.
One particular point that has sparked outrage on social media pertained to how the police had described the mass shooting for Long as being a “really bad day for him”:
“He was pretty much fed up and had kind of been at the end of his rope and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Baker said during the conference.
Featured Image via Cherokee County Sherriff’s Department