No early indication of racial motive in US spa shootings but probe not over

Rich McKay, Reuters

Posted at Mar 17 2021 11:47 PM

No early indication of racial motive in US spa shootings but probe not over 1
A view of the Aromatherapy Spa after deadly shootings in Atlanta, Georgia on March 17, 2021. Dustin Chambers, Reuters

ATLANTA - The suspect in the fatal shooting of eight people at day spas in and around Atlanta on Tuesday indicated he had issues with sexual addiction and the shootings may have not been motivated by racial hatred, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

Officials said that suspect Robert Aaron Long, 21, appeared to have frequented the spas targeted in the shootings and that he headed towards Florida afterwards, perhaps to carry out further shootings.

Six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent. It was the latest instance of gun violence involving numerous deaths in the United States.

The bloodshed began about 5 p.m. on Tuesday when four people were killed and another was wounded in a shooting at Young's Asian Massage in Cherokee County, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Atlanta, Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department said.

Two women of Asian descent were among the dead there, along with a white woman and a white man, Baker said, adding that the surviving victim was a Hispanic man.

In Atlanta, Georgia's state capital, police officers responding to a call of a "robbery in progress" shortly before 6 p.m. arrived at the Gold Spa beauty salon and found three women shot dead, Police Chief Rodney Bryant told reporters.

While investigating the initial report, the officers were called to a separate aromatherapy spa across the street where another woman was found dead from a gunshot wound, Bryant said. All four women killed in Atlanta were of Asian descent.


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