Breaking: 8 dead in Atlanta-area shootings; suspect arrested
Three shootings at massage parlors in and around Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday left eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, dead.
The attacks began at about 5 p.m. local time when five people were shot at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County, about 40 miles north of Atlanta, according to Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
According to Press TV, two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and three were taken to hospital where two more died of their injuries.
Among the dead were two women of Asian descent along with a white woman and a white man, Baker said.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, officers responding to a call of a “robbery in progress” around 6 p.m. local time arrived at Gold Spa in the northeast part of the city, where they found three women shot dead, Police Chief Rodney Bryant told reporters.
While at the scene, the officers received a report of another shooting at a separate aroma-therapy spa across the street where a fourth woman was found dead of a gunshot wound, Bryant said.
All four victims killed in Atlanta were of Asian descent.
A suspect, identified as Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested and taken into custody at about 8:30 p.m. local time in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, after a manhunt.
“The suspect was taken into custody without incident … and transported to the Crisp County jail,” a police official said.
Video evidence suggests “it is extremely likely” that the same person was responsible for the three deadly shootings.
“Video footage from our Video Integration Center places the Cherokee County suspect’s vehicle in the area, around the time of our Piedmont Road shootings,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a news release.
“That, along with video evidence viewed by investigators, suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County’s, who is in custody. Because of this, an investigator from APD is in Cherokee County and we are working closely with them to confirm with certainty our cases are related.”