Who is Asian American Atlanta Suspect? Robert Aaron Long, Wiki, Biography
What happened in Atlanta?
Three shootings took place Tuesday evening at three separate spas—the first in Acworth, Ga., north of Atlanta, and the others across the street from each other within the city. The shootings happened within about an hour of each other.
Who is the suspect Robert Long?
Robert Aaron Long is a 21-year-old Georgia man was arrested late Tuesday in connection with the killing of eight people, many of them women of Asian descent. Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, Ga., was captured that evening in Crisp County, 150 miles southeast of Atlanta, a sheriff’s office spokesman said.
How old is Robert Aaron Long
He is 21 years old.
Robert Aaron Long Atlanta Suspect Shooter
Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said interviews with the subject revealed that his shootings may not have been racially motivated, but tied to sexual issues.
“The suspect has been interviewed, which indicated he has some issues, potentially sexual addiction. He may have frequented some of these places in the past,” Mr Reynolds said.
Apparently the alleged shooter wanted to “eliminate the temptation” by removing the massage parlors, which provided an outlet for his addiction, according to police. Atlanta police Captain Jay Baker said the shooter had been interviewed by police.
With the help of state highway patrol, officers said they were able to track Mr. Long as he drove south on I-75.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Wednesday that Mr. Long was en route to Florida, and she thanked law-enforcement officers for their quick work arresting him. “This could’ve been significantly worse,” she said. “It is very likely there would’ve been more victims.”
Officials said they found a 9-millimeter gun in Mr. Long’s car and are running forensic tests to determine whether it was used in the shootings. It was the only weapon they said they found.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s office shared on social media some surveillance-video images from the scene, and Mr. Long’s family immediately called in, Sheriff Frank Reynolds said. “They were very distraught,” he said, noting the family has continued to cooperate with investigators.
Mr. Long and his family are active members of Crabapple Baptist Church in Alpharetta. Church leader Jerry Dockery released a statement saying church members were heartbroken.
What do we know about the victims?
Six of the victims were women of Asian descent, officials said. At least four of those killed were of Korean descent, South Korea’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.
The ethnicity of many of the victims had prompted concern that the shootings could be a hate crime against Asian-Americans. After the shooting, law-enforcement officers in New York, Seattle and Atlanta said they were closely monitoring Asian-American communities as a precaution. Reports of hate crimes targeting Asian-Americans have increased in some U.S. cities since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was first identified in China.
What do we know about the investigation?
Law-enforcement officials said Wednesday that Mr. Long acted alone and took responsibility for the killings.
Mr. Long targeted the businesses in retaliation “for providing an outlet for his addiction to sex,” law-enforcement officials said. Representatives for the establishments couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
“It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. “He said it was not racially motivated.”
Mr. Long has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault, officials said. He is being held in Cherokee County without bond. He waived his right to an attorney, officials said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Atlanta said it is assisting local law enforcement in the investigation.
Long’s Parents Saw the Photos the Cherokee County Sheriff Shared of the Suspect, & Told Authorities It Was Their Son
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office obtained surveillance footage from outside Young’s Asian Spa and shared stills of the suspect, his vehicle and license plate number, shortly after the shootings.
“Please share,” deputies wrote on Facebook. “Suspect in a multiple shooting[s] on Hwy 92 near Bells Ferry Rd. If anyone recognizes this suspect or his vehicle please call 911.”
The photo quickly made its way to Long’s parents. They called police to tell them it was their son in the photos, Reynolds said during a Wednesday morning press conference. Deputies immediately set up a meeting with the family.
“I was there speaking with the family. They were very distraught,” he said. “They were very helpful in this investigation.”
The meeting with the family and the information they provided enabled authorities to track Long’s phone, which indicated he was heading south. Reynolds contacted Sheriff Billy Hancock in Crisp County to say their suspect was headed his way. The Crisp County Sheriff’s Office coordinated with Georgia State Patrol to set up a perimeter to “quickly hit the vehicle to prevent a pursuit.”
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jay Baker also commended the family for their cooperation in the investigation and apprehension of their son.
“We are really appreciative of the family,” he said during the press conference. “Without them this wouldn’t have happened as well, as quickly as it happened. Certainly, this is difficult for them.”
Long told authorities he was on his way to Florida to commit more shootings, officials said. Bottoms commended the coordinated efforts of law enforcement to quickly apprehend the suspect before that happened.
“As tragic as this was on yesterday in metro Atlanta, this could have been significantly worse,” she said during the press conference. “…It’s likely there would have been more victims.”
Long & His Family Were Heavily Involved in Their Church, Whose Elders Said They Are ‘Grieving’ & ‘Heartbroken’
Now-deleted social media posts from the Crabapple First Baptist Church paint a picture of Long’s involvement with the church, which he attended with his mom, dad and sister. The elders of the church released a statement to Heavy, which said they are “grieved” and “heartbroken” about the shootings, and that they are “distraught” for Long’s family.
“We are grieved to hear the tragic news about the multiple deaths in the Atlanta area. We are heartbroken for all involved,” the statement said. “We grieve for the victims and their families, and we continue to pray for them. Moreover, we are distraught for the Long family and continue to pray for them as well.”
The church later deleted its website and Facebook page. It included posts of Long sharing his testimony on video, photos of him and his sister at youth events, his dad at a cookout and events his mom organized. His mom once organized a movie night at the church, and wanted to be sure it included a cotton candy machine. The church also recognized Long’s younger sister on its Facebook page when she graduated from high school in 2020.
Long was also involved with the church’s Student Ministry Team along with his dad as recently as 2018, according to minutes from a meeting of the elders. He was one of 11 people on the team, which “exists to see students receive Jesus Christ as Lord, and walk in Him, being rooted in the faith.”
Long’s dad deleted his Facebook page in the hours after the shooting, and it did not appear that his mom had a social media presence before the shooting.