Suspect in Atlanta shooting spree charged with multiple counts of murder

(Xinhua) 09:36, March 18, 2021

File Photo

WASHINGTON, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The lone suspect in three shooting incidents in Atlanta, U.S. state of Georgia, that killed eight people was charged Wednesday with multiple counts of murder.

Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said Robert Aaron Long, 21, had been charged with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault for the shooting rampage Tuesday at a spa in that suburban county near Atlanta that killed four people.

The Atlanta Police Department's Homicide Unit announced later Wednesday afternoon that Long was also charged with four counts of murder for the killing of another four people in two adjacent spas in the City of Atlanta.

Long is currently detained at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center, and police have not yet offered a motive for the attacks.

President Joe Biden has asked domestic policy adviser Susan Rice and White House public engagement director and senior adviser Cedric Richmond to conduct community listening sessions in the wake of the shooting spree, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Psaki told reporters at a daily news briefing Wednesday that the listening sessions would be part of the administration's "longer-term, strategic, comprehensive" review of the impact of domestic violent extremism on society and future government policies.

Earlier Wednesday, Rodney Bryant, acting chief of the Atlanta Police Department, told a news briefing that the investigation was still in the "very early" stage, and that investigators cannot determine at the moment that the shooting spree was a hate crime, although multiple calls received by the police department sought to confirm that conclusion.

Police on Tuesday evening arrested Long, who during an interview with law enforcement at the night claimed responsibility for the three shooting incidents. Of the eight victims, six were Asians and two were Whites, and the only surviving victim was in non-life threatening condition.

Long claimed that the attacks were not racially motivated, and that he had a "sexual addiction" and saw the massage parlors as a "temptation" that he wanted to "eliminate," according to authorities, adding that Long, when caught, was on the way to Florida, where he planned to commit similar crimes.


Related Stories