Sidat.ID, – Washington D.C- The gunman who killed eight people in a shooting at a massage parlor in Atlanta, Georgia, United States was charged with murder when police began identifying the victims.
The suspect faces multiple counts of murder and battery.
Reported by BBC News, on Thursday (3/18/2021) officials could not confirm whether the shooting, which killed six Asian women, was racially motivated.
The identities of the victims were announced on Wednesday (3/17) local time. The attacks come amid a sharp rise in crimes against citizens of Asian-American descent.
Four of the identified victims are Ashley Yaun (33), Paul Andre Michels (54), Xiaojie Yan (49) and Daoyou Feng (44).
Meanwhile, the injured victim was identified as Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz.
At a press conference on Wednesday (3/17), investigators stated that the suspect, identified as Robert Aaron Long, admitted to carrying out the shooting.
However, Robert Aaron Long’s side denied that race was the motive for the attack.
Long has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of assault, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
“He (Long) seems to have a problem, with what he considers to be a sex addiction problem, and sees the scene of this incident as a temptation for him that he wants to get rid of,” said the captain of the county sheriff’s department. Cherokee, Jay Baker.
He added that Long was arrested with a 9mm pistol and did not refuse to be arrested.
Massage parlors around the scene of the incident are known to sometimes provide prostitution services. However, the authorities explained that there was no indication that the attack had occurred at the place in question.
“This is a legally operating business that is not on our radar yet,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
She also added that the city would not “shame the victim and blame the victim.”
Local police said it was too early in the investigation to state a motive and that the suspect appeared to be acting on his own.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms said the suspect, when he was arrested, was traveling to Florida and he was likely to carry out more shootings.
Local officials said: “The suspect’s parents helped identify him.”
The shooting incident at the Gold Spa in Acworth Cherokee County began on Tuesday (3/16), around 5pm.
Two people died at the scene and three other victims were taken to hospital, where two more later died, said a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Capt.Baker.
Baker later confirmed that the victims included two Asian women, a white woman and a white man.
He stated that a Hispanic was injured.
Less than an hour later, police were cited with reports of “robbery” at the scene. The released images of the 911 calls show a woman telling dispatchers that she is hiding from the attackers.
“When the authorities arrived at the scene, the officers found three women dead with gunshot wounds,” said a police officer.
Later, the police found another woman who was shot and killed.
Meanwhile, on the second call to 911, a woman explained to the operator that she received a call from a colleague who reported that the assailant had entered the spa and opened fire.
“They said a man came in … We heard gunshots and the woman was unconscious at the entrance,” she said. “
And they were all scared and hiding. “
Investigators who had seen CCTV footage later posted a photo of a suspect seen near one of the spas.
Police said that following a search for the suspect, Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, was arrested in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Meanwhile, South Korean authorities said they were working to guarantee the nationalities of the four victims of Korean descent.***