Eight people, including six Asian women, were killed in shootings at three different businesses in Atlanta and Acworth, Georgia, on Tuesday, according to local police. A male suspect was arrested and charged with several counts of murder on Wednesday, police said.
At a press conference in Atlanta on Wednesday, authorities identified the four victims killed in Cherokee County.
Robert Aaron Long, 21 – who gunned down eight people at three different massage parlor locations in Atlanta on March 16 – has been charged over the horrific attack.
Four of the women were of Korean descent. The victims that have so far been named are: Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, Paul Andre Michels, 54, Xiaojie Yan, 49, and 44-year-old Daoyou Feng.
One victim who was injured, but is in stable condition, was identified as Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30.
“He was at the end of his rope and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Cherokee police Captain Jay Baker said at a press conference.
After being run off the road and taken into custody, Long told police that he was not motivated by racism but claims he has a sex addiction and blames the spas he targeted.
The hashtag #StopAsianHate was the third trend on Twitter and the Association of Asian American Journalists released a set of guidelines to newsrooms on the issue.
Former president Obama tweeted: “Although the shooter’s motive is not yet clear, the identity of the victims underscores an alarming rise in anti-Asian violence that must end.”
One day after a total of eight victims were gunned down – seven were women and six of them were of Asian descent – the Atlanta Police Department shared the first 911 call for the massage parlor shootings.
The first audio, shared to YouTube in a one-minute and 50-second clip, reveals a woman telling a 911 operator to “please hurry.”
The call came through to 911 at 5.47pm from the woman inside the Gold Spa.
When the woman calling was asked whether she had a description of the male suspect, the caller quietly stated: “We’re hiding right now, that’s why. They have a gun.”
The witness continued: “We need an ambulance here… we need police here.”
The caller mentioned multiple times about a robbery in the spa, but when she was questioned the robber’s whereabouts, she answered: “I don’t know.
“I’m hiding right now.”
After being asked what the suspect was wearing, the caller appears to say: “I don’t know please just come. Ok?”
The second 911 call – which lasted approximately four minutes and came in about 10 minutes after the first call – was from a woman who got a call about the frightening incident at the Aromatherapy Spa.
“I just got a call from one of my friends and they say some guy came in…. and the lady’s passed out,” the second caller explained. “Everybody’s scared so they’re hiding.”
She later repeated herself: “Everybody heard the gunshot and some lady got hurt.”
Following the attacks, the gunman, Long, took responsibility for the shootings and told police that the massage parlors were a “temptation that he wanted to eliminate.”
Long was arrested on Tuesday night after leading cops on a three hour car chase, Cherokee County Sheriff’s spokesperson Howard J Baker said.
Captain Jay Baker said that Long had been charged with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assaulted for the Cherokee County shooting, the New York Times reported.
However, charges have not yet been announced in connection with the attacks in the City of Atlanta.
Sheriff Frank Reynolds said in a press conference on Wednesday that Long had potential “sexual addiction” issues.
CNN later reported that a former roommate had claimed the alleged shooter spent time in a sex rehab clinic.
Sheriff Reynolds added that cops believe Long “frequented these places in the past” and that he “may have been lashing out”.
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.”
Long did not target the victims due to their ethnicity, rather that he chose locations that he “knew specifically,” according to Channel 2.
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.