Aaron Long, Atlanta Massage Parlor Massacre Suspect, Had ‘Sexual Addiction,’ Cherokee County Sheriff Says
The religious zealot who confessed to killing eight people in a string of shootings at Asian massage parlors in Georgia on Tuesday night told police he has sex-addiction issues and wanted to “eliminate” the “temptation,” authorities said Wednesday.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Georgia, was caught on video Tuesday night at three metro Atlanta massage parlors where he killed eight people—including six Asian women, police said.
The names of those killed at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County—the first parlor in Long’s spree—have been identified as Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Xiaojie Yan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54.
Long was eventually nabbed on a highway two hours south of Atlanta after a police chase. Long admitted he was on his way to a pornography-related venue in Florida, authorities said, adding that it was “very likely there would have been more victims.”
While police said Wednesday it was too early to determine whether the grisly incident was a hate crime, Long “had some issues, including sexual addiction” that may have contributed to the spree.
“It may be the targets of opportunity… we believe he frequented these places in the past and may have been lashing out,” Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said Wednesday.
Long is the son of a youth pastor and is heavily involved in the church, a student who graduated from Sequoyah High with Long in 2017 told The Daily Beast. “He… wouldn’t even cuss,” the woman said. “He was big into religion.”
The tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Long read: “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life.”
Cherokee County Capt. Jay Baker added that Long “did take responsibility for the shootings,” indicating to police that he was “pretty fed up” and “at the end of his rope” at the time of the rampage.
Long told police that the shootings were not racially motivated, but he blamed the massage establishments for creating a temptation for his addiction. It is not immediately clear if Long had visited the locations he targeted.
“It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Baker added.
Police said the rampage started at Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth, Cherokee County, where Long allegedly killed two people. A third person at the parlor succumbed to their injuries en route to a nearby hospital and a fourth died while in treatment. One person was also wounded at the parlor.
About an hour later, three people were found dead at the Gold Massage Spa in Atlanta. Another person was fatally shot at the Aroma Therapy Spa, located across the street.
“A crime against any community is a crime against us all,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Wednesday, adding that she has been in contact with the White House.