By KATE BRUMBACK
ATLANTA (AP) — Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs on March 16 left eight people dead, many of them women of Asian descent, authorities said. A 21-year-old man suspected in the shootings was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt, police said.
The attacks began around 5 p.m., when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor in a strip mall near a rural area in Acworth, about 30 miles north of Atlanta, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said. Two people died at the scene and three were transported to a hospital where two of them also died, Baker said.
Around 5:50 p.m., police in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, responding to a call of a robbery in progress, found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at Gold Spa. While they were at that scene, they learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found a woman who appeared to have been shot dead inside the business.
“It appears that they may be Asian,” Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said.
The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.
A man suspected in the Acworth shooting was captured by surveillance video pulling up to the business around 4:50 p.m.—minutes before the attack, authorities said. Baker said the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, was taken into custody in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Baker said they believe Long is also the suspect in the Atlanta shootings.