At Least 8 Dead After Shootings At 3 Atlanta Massage Parlors
At least eight people are dead and others have been wounded after shootings at three massage spas in the Atlanta area on Tuesday, according to multiple news outlets.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said that two people were found dead at Young’s Asian Massage, northeast of Acworth, Georgia, in what appears to be the first shooting, and two more died at a hospital, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and CNN reported.
More than 25 miles south of Acworth, in Atlanta, at least four more people were killed, interim Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said, according to the Journal-Constitution.
What appear to be the second and third shootings took place at the Gold Spa and Aroma Therapy spa, CNN reported. The spas are across the street from each other on Piedmont Avenue in Atlanta.
The Associated Press also confirmed that eight people had died in the shootings.
At least six of the victims appear to be Asian, the Journal-Constitution reported, citing law enforcement.
Officials believe that one suspect, who was apprehended Tuesday evening, was involved in all three of the shootings.
“It does appear that it’s the same suspect,” Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office told the Journal-Constitution.
The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office identified him as Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Georgia, just east of the first shooting site, CNN reported.
The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office posted photos of a suspect on its Facebook page earlier Tuesday night.
Surveillance video shows the shooter pulling up to Young’s Asian Massage Parlor at about 4:50 p.m., shortly before the shooting occurred, according to AP.
Bryant told the Journal-Constitution that four more people were found dead at the two spas on Piedmont Avenue around 5:45 p.m.
Sgt. John Chafee, a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department, told the Journal-Constitution that three women were found dead from gunshot wounds inside Gold Spa.
While investigating the scene, officers were called to another shooting at Aromatherapy Spa, where they found one more woman dead, the newspaper reported.
In just over a year, there have been an estimated 3,795 reports of racist incidents, including harassment and attacks, against Asian American and Pacific Islander people as the COVID-19 pandemic reached across the U.S., leading some to inflame hatred toward Asians based solely on the virus’s origin in China.
A collective of AAPI advocacy organizations and scholars known as Stop AAPI Hate compiled the data, which includes at least 503 incidents reported in 2021, from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28.
Though several of the victims were Asian, officials have not yet determined the motivation for Tuesday’s shooting.
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