At least 8 killed in shootings at 3 Atlanta-area spas, suspect in custody

FAN Editor

At least eight people were killed Tuesday in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas. A suspect has been taken into custody in connection with one of the shootings, and Atlanta police said it is “extremely likely” he is also the suspect in the other two shootings. 

At around 5 p.m., a shooting at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County killed four people, two of whom died after being transported to a hospital, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office. A fifth victim was injured and also transported to a hospital.

Later, three people were shot and killed at Gold Spa on Piedmont Road in Atlanta. While officers were responding to the scene, they received another call for a shooting across the street at Aromatherapy Spa, where they found another person who had been shot and killed.

Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said all four victims from the Piedmont Road shootings were female.

Cherokee County Police identified Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, as a suspect in the Young’s Asian Massage shooting. Long was taken into custody Tuesday night in Crisp County, Georgia.

Long was taken into custody without incident around 8:30 p.m. after Georgia State Patrol troopers performed a PIT maneuver “which caused the vehicle to spin out of control,” according to the Crisp County Sheriff’s office. 

In a statement Tuesday night, Atlanta police said that, “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.”

The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

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Gold Spa in Atlanta, Georgia. CBS affiliate WGCL-TV

The New York Police Department said that “out of an abundance of caution,” the NYPD’s Critical Response Command has been deployed to Asian communities throughout New York City in response to Tuesday’s shootings.

“The reported shootings of multiple Asian American women today in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy – for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the Asian American community, which has been reeling from high levels of racist attacks over the course of the past year,” Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that seeks to raise awareness of anti-Asian discrimination throughout the pandemic, said Tuesday night in a statement.

The organization noted it was still unclear if the shootings were “motivated by hate,” but added, “This latest attack will only exacerbate the fear and pain that the Asian American community continues to endure.”

CBS News Investigative Unit Senior Producer Pat Milton contributed to this report.

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