Atlanta ‘shooter’ Robert Aaron Long may have been 'heading to Florida to attack porn industry’ when he was arrested

THE suspected Atlanta shooter may have been "heading to Florida to attack porn industry" when he was arrested.

Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested on Tuesday night after leading cops on a three hour car chase, Cherokee County Sheriff's spokesperson Howard J Baker said.


Sheriff Frank Reynolds said in a press conference on Wednesday that Long had potential "sexual addiction" issues.

He added that Long "we believe that he frequented these places in the past" and that he "may have been lashing out."

Cops confirmed that Long "did take responsibility for the shootings" and that he said the massage parlors were a "temptation that he wanted to eliminate."

They added that Long claimed the attack was not racially motivated.

The Atlanta Police Department added that Long was on his way to Florida, where they believe he was going to "do similar acts in the state" targeting "some type of porn industry."

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

  • Eight people have died in three separate shootings at a range of massage parlors.
  • The first shooting began at around 5pm on March 16 at the Youngs Asian Massage Parlor.
  • Two people died at the scene, three casualties were transported to the hospital, where another two also died.
  • Nearly an hour later, the gunman began another shooting spree in the Buckhead neighbourhood of Atlanta at Gold Spa.
  • Three women were found dead at the second massage parlor.
  • A fourth woman was shot dead at Aromatherapy Spa, just across the street from Gold Spa.
  • Seven of the eight victims were women and six were Asian, police say.
  • Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested after a lengthy police pursuit that saw his black 2007 Hyundai Tuscon rammed off the road.



Long was only apprehended after authorities performed a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) to stop his vehicle.

The move "caused the vehicle to spin out of control" as Long was reportedly driving south on Interstate 75.

He was taken into custody "without incident" and was being held at the Crisp County jail.

The suspect is heading back to Cherokee County for a court hearing on Friday morning regarding the slaughters.

The FBI are now assisting the investigation into the shooting spree, that saw six Asian women shot dead.

Of the eight dead, seven were women and one a man, according to officials. Two of the victims were white, cops said.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the four victims who died at that location were: Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, Paul Andre Michels, 54, Xiaojie Yan, 49 and Daoyou Feng, 44.

They added that one victim who was injured, but is in stable condition, was identified as Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30.

South Korea have since confirmed that four of the victims were of Korean descent.

Further details have not yet been released on the victims, but Atlanta Police Chief Rodney N. Bryant confirmed the majority were female and Asian.

It is not yet clear if it was a racially motivated attack, but officials from all jurisdictions said they are "very confident" that the same suspect was involved in all three shootings.

The NYPD announced it will deploy officers into Asian communities in response to he shootings and the rising hate crimes against Asian minorities.

The 21-year-old suspect was apprehended in Crisp County about 150 miles south of Atlanta.

It has since emerged that Long is a "God and gun loving" son of a pastor, with an extensive religious background.

President Biden has since been informed about the killings.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: "The President has been briefed overnight about the horrific shootings in Atlanta.


"White House officials have been in touch with the Mayor’s office and will remain in touch with the FBI," she said.

The White House added that Biden will also be briefed over the phone by Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray regarding the shootings.

The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, praised the quick response of authorities in apprehending the offender and offered her sympathies.

"I commend law enforcement for their quick work in arresting a suspect in the tragic shootings on yesterday. A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all.

"I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city."

Former Fist Lady Hillary Clinton also shared her condolences, writing: "I’m sending prayers today to the families of the people killed and those injured in Atlanta’s horrific attacks.

"The surge in violence against Asian Americans over the last year is a growing crisis. We need action from our leaders and within our communities to stop the hate."

The first shocking shooting happened at around 5pm at the Youngs Asian Massage Parlor off Bells Ferry Road and Highway 92 in Acworth, Georgia.

Two people died at the scene. A further three were transported to hospital, were another two succumbed to their injuries.

The Sheriff's Office spokesman Captain Jay Baker confirmed that two Asian women, a white woman, a white man, and a Hispanic man had been injured.

It appears all five victims were shot inside the business.




Less than an hour later, police responded to a call off a "robbery in progress" at Gold Spa, in northeast Atlanta.

Three women were shot dead in the appalling attack.

The gunman then headed to another spa situated just across the street, the Aromatherapy Spa, where officers found another woman deceased.

Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said all four victims were female, and "it appears that they may be Asian".

While at Gold Spa, cops "received another call across the street that had shots fired," Bryant said.

"We responded to that to find another individual was shot at that location."  

One witness told CNN, "We just heard numerous gun shots coming from across the street. I won't say any names but they're really nice girls."

The shopping center where Young's Asian Massage is located was closed to the public as investigators search for ballistics, fingerprints and other evidence according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The suspect was captured by surveillance video pulling up to the business around 4.50pm, just minutes before the shooting. 

The sheriff's office posted surveillance pictures on its Facebook page, asking people to share the images that show the man near the vehicle. 

From Young's Asian Massage, it's believed the gunman drove more than 30 miles and opened fire at two other businesses north of the city in the suburb of Woodland Hills. 


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