ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Authorities released more details on the eight people who died after a gunman went on a shooting spree at several Atlanta area spas, including audio recordings of 911 calls.
Atlanta police received a 911 call after the shooting at Gold Spa on Piedmont Road. During the conversation, the operator asked the caller, “Where is he right now?” The caller responded, “I don’t know, I’m hiding right now.”READ MORE: Sarasota Man Arrested And Facing Charges Of Sexual Battery On A Victim Under 12
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant, Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds and other law enforcement officials described the chain of events at a press conference Wednesday morning. “While at that location, we received another call across the street, had shots fired,” said Bryant. The 911 call was made by a friend of a person hiding at Aromatherapy Spa. “Everybody’s hiding, so I don’t know what’s going on exactly, but I need an ambulance or something over there,” she said.
Police said the gunman, Robert Aaron Long, 21, shot and killed three women at Golden Spa and a woman at Aromatherapy. However, officers soon learned the shooting spree started about an hour earlier in Cherokee County, where authorities say Long shot five people at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor. Two of the victims died at the scene, and the other two died at a hospital. Another person was injured. Six of the the eight victims were Asian American.
Cherokee County authorities say Long confessed to the shootings. “He claims it was not racially motivated. He has an issue with what he claims to be a sex addiction,” said Captain Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. Baker also said Long indicated the spas were temptations he wanted to eliminate because of his sex addiction.READ MORE: Two Arrested In Shooting At Landmark Motel
“What he said is one thing. His actions resulted in the deaths of six Asian American woman and two other individuals,” said State Representative Sam Park (D-District 101). This comes after an increase in anti-Asian attacks spurred by perceptions that the COVID-19 pandemic started in China. This is an emotional time for everyone, especially the Asian American community, which has indicated they’re feeling the impact regardless of what the suspect says motivated him to commit these crimes. “We want to do everything that we can to support our community,” said Park.
Officials said a bigger tragedy could have happened without collaboration from law enforcement agencies. “They determined the suspect was on his way to Florida, perhaps to carry out additional shootings,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Authorities identified the five shooting victims in Cherokee County:MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise From 40 To Over 70 At Tampa General Hospital
- Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth.
- Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta
- Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw
- Daoyou Feng, 44, (residence unknown)
- Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 50, of Acworth, injured.
As of the afternoon, they had not identified the Atlanta victims. Long is expected to appear before a judge on Thursday.