(AP) – Shootings at two massage parlours in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left eight people dead, many of them women of Asian descent, authorities said Tuesday. A 21-year-old man was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt.
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said three people were killed at a spa in northeast Atlanta, while a fourth person was killed at another spa across the street. He said all four victims were female, and “It appears that they may be Asian.”
Atlanta police officers responding to a call of a robbery in progress at one spa around 5:50pm found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds, police said. While they were at that scene, they learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street and found a woman who appeared to have been shot dead inside the business.
Earlier, around 5pm, five people were shot at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in Acworth, about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said. Two of the victims were dead and three were transported to a hospital where two of them also died, Baker said.
Authorities were not immediately releasing the gender or race of the victims, Baker said.
A man suspected in the Acworth shooting was captured by surveillance video pulling up to the business around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, minutes before the shooting, authorities said. Baker said the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, of Woodstock, was taken into custody in Crisp County, about 150 miles (240 kilometres) south of Atlanta.
Baker said they believe Long is also the suspect in the Atlanta shootings.
With two shootings at massage parlours in Atlanta and the knowledge of the Acworth shooting, Atlanta police said they dispatched officers to check nearby similar businesses and increased patrols in the area.