WOODSTOCK, Ga. (NewsNation Now) — Shootings at two massage parlors 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 three victims were female, and “It appears that they may be Asian.”
Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said they believe 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long is also the suspect in the Atlanta shootings.
Atlanta Police Department Sergeant John Chafee added the APD believes the suspect is connected to the multiple shootings as well.
“Many have asked whether these shootings are related to Cherokee County’s shootings. Video footage from our Video Integration Center places the Cherokee County suspect’s vehicle in the area, around the time of our Piedmont Road shootings. That, along with video evidence viewed by investigators, suggests it is extremely likely our suspect is the same as Cherokee County’s, who is in custody. Because of this, an investigator from APD is in Cherokee County and we are working closely with them to confirm with certainty our cases are related.”
Atlanta Police Department Sergeant John Chafee
Atlanta police officers responding to a call of a robbery in progress at one spa around 5:50 p.m. 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 in the afternoon, authorities in Cherokee County said five people were shot at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in Acworth, about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Two of the victims were dead and three were transported to a hospital where two of them also died, Baker said.
The suspect was captured by surveillance video pulling up to the business around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, minutes before the shooting, authorities said.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office shared photos of the Acworth suspected shooter and their vehicle on Facebook. Capt. Baker said Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, was taken into custody in Crisp County on Tuesday night, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Authorities were not immediately releasing the gender or race of the victims, Baker said.
With two shootings at massage parlors 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.
In a Tweet, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp thanked the Georgia Department of Public Safety along with local and federal law enforcement for stopping the suspect quickly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.