The suspect, who shot and killed eight people at three massage parlours in the US state of Georgia, has been charged with eight counts of murder by prosecutors. Suspect Robert Aaron Long, 21, is believed to have carried out the attack for “racial” reasons, but he has denied the allegations. Authorities said the motive for the attack may have been “sexual.”
The suspect, who shot and killed eight people at three massage parlours in atlanta, USA, has been charged with eight counts of murder by prosecutors.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, the sole suspect in the largest shooting in the United States since 2019, reignited the debate over “violence against Asians in the United States.”
He pleaded guilty but argued that his attacks were “not motivated by race” and the prosecutor’s office filed eight murder charges.
Six of those killed in the attacks were Asian women, raising the debate that the attack was a hate crime against Asians, although the suspect said otherwise.
Vietnamese-born Bee Nguyen, acting Georgia State Assembly, said in a statement that the attack occurred precisely in a triangle of “gender-based violence, xenophobia and misogyny,” and that these were not ordinary killings.
He has previously reportedly used racist phrases against China on his social media accounts due to the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, while there are concerns about an increase in similar attacks on Asians living in the United States.
City and state officials announced the attack, which killed eight people, and held a press conference about the incident and the new findings of the investigation. Authorities said robert aaron long, the 21-year-old suspect accused of carrying out the attack, may have committed the attack not for “racial” reasons but because of his “sexual passions.”
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Long confessed to orchestrating the attack, adding, “Long has confessed to murders in Cherokee County and Atlanta. Long told investigators he accused massage parlours of providing a starting point for his sexual passion.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement that the suspect, Long, is believed to be planning a trip to Florida to carry out more attacks.
The gunman, who first entered a massage parlour in the state’s Cherokee district, reportedly opened fire. Capt. Jay Baker, a spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said four people were killed in the attack, adding that two of those killed were women, two of whom were of Asian descent, and the other was male.
Shortly after the first attack, police in downtown Atlanta found the bodies of three women at another massage parlor after a report of a robbery. “Three women who were at the scene were found to have been shot dead,” the statement said.
Police inspected the area where the second attack took place, during which time they received a report of an attack from another massage parlour across the street, where one woman was found dead in a shooting. The women killed in the second and third attacks were also reported to be of Asian descent.
Police investigators reviewing surveillance video released photos of one suspect near one of the massage parlours, and it was announced shortly afterwards that Long, 21, believed to be the perpetrator of all three attacks, was taken into custody.
Baker, the spokesman, said investigators were “very confident” Long was the man who carried out the three shootings.