Three shootings at three massage parlors in the metropolitan area of the city of Atlanta, in the southern United States, have caused eight deaths, the vast majority of them Asians, and the Police are investigating whether there is a racist motive behind them. On Tuesday, the day of the incident, Cherokee County Police, about 50 miles from town, arrested a 21-year-old man as a suspect of the first of the three shootings, the victims of which were mostly Asian women. It has already gone to court.
These murders – seven of them of women – occurred in the middle of the wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus throughout the United States after originating in China.
However, the arrested suspect, identified as Robert Aaron Long, from the town of Woodstock (Georgia), has assured the Police that he had a «sexual addiction»And had frequented massage parlors in the past, according to information from the authorities collected by the US media. In his statement, Long allegedly claimed that these types of premises were “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” said Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Police, the detainee assured that he did not attack the victims because of their race, although the sources cited indicate that it is too early to ensure that the events were not racially motivated.
Likewise, the man said he was driving to the neighboring state of Florida when he was stopped by gunfire on Tuesday night. In this sense, Captain Baker pointed out that he could be trying to commit similar attacks to businesses related to the porn industry there.
The first shots were fired Tuesday night at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee. Three people died there. In an hour the other two shootings took place, at the Gold Massage Spa and Aroma Therapy massage parlors, in central Atlanta, where the rest of the victims died.
“It appears the victims are all Asian,” said Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that President Joe Biden has been informed about the “horrible shootings” and administration officials have been in contact with the Atlanta mayor’s office and the FBI. As Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said Tuesday night on Twitter, “Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence.”
Surveillance video recorded a man arriving at the Cherokee County business in a black van about 10 minutes before the attack there, according to authorities. The same car was seen outside of downtown Atlanta businesses. After a chase of more than 200 kilometers, Robert Aaron Long was arrested, of Woodstock, Crisp County.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that its diplomats in Atlanta have confirmed with police that four of the victims who died were women of Korean descent. The ministry said its consulate in Atlanta is trying to confirm the nationality of the women.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his counterpart Chung Eui-yong during a visit to South Korea, mentioning the deaths in statements to the press. “We are horrified by this violence that is not taking place in the US or anywhere else,” Blinken said, according to the Ap agency. Due to the shootings, Atlanta police said they have tightened security at Asian-run businesses. from the downtown area.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism