WOODSTOCK, Ga. — Authorities announced Tuesday evening that a spree of shootings at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area have left at least eight people dead, four of them being Asian women. Officials have yet to announce whether the victims were customers or employees at the establishments.
In the late afternoon hours of Tuesday, March 16, four individuals were killed at a massage parlor in Cherokee County. Deputies responded to Young’s Asian Massage near Acworth, Georgia to reports of shots fired to find five people suffering from gunshot wounds, a Cherokee County Sheriff’s spokesperson said.
The spokesperson, Jay Baker, told WXIA-TV that investigators hadn’t uncovered an immediate motive in the acts. Officials said a suspect was seen on surveillance footage pulling up to the business around 4:50 p.m. in a dark-colored SUV before opening fire.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office released photos of the suspect on the department’s Facebook page, asking for public assistance in identifying the man.
The shooting halted traffic in the 6400 block of Highway 92, around 30 miles northwest of Atlanta.
Two people were pronounced dead on the scene and three more were transported to a nearby hospital, where one more died.
Later, Atlanta police responded to reports of a robbery at the Gold Massage Spa, where they found three people dead. The officers then approached a spa directly across the street, finding one more person dead. They dispatched more officers to patrol similar businesses and increased patrols in the area.
Roughly two hours after the initial suspect photos were released, the Georgia Highway Patrol announced the arrest of Robert Long, a 21-year-old Woodstock man who fled when authorities attempted to pull him over. He was apprehended 150 miles south of Atlanta in Crisp County.