Robert Aaron Long was found with a 9-mm gun during his arrest following shootings at Asian spas in the Atlanta metro area, officials said. Authorities said they are still investigating elements of the shooting, and did not release much information about the gun he allegedly used in Woodstock, Cherokee County, Georgia and northeastern Atlanta.
However, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported he purchased the gun earlier that day.
A prosecutor filed a notice Tuesday, May 11, 2021 that they would seek the death penalty for Long and pursue hate crime charges, according to WSBTV. The eight victims were Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63 in Fulton County and Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Yaun, 33; and Paul Michels, 54, in Cherokee County.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Cherokee County Gun Shop Said They Sold Long a Gun & Are Cooperating With Authorities
Deputies allege Long entered Young’s Asian Massage Parlor along Georgia Highway 92 and opened fire at about 5 p.m. March 16, 2021, shooting five people and killing four of them in Woodstock, an Atlanta suburb near Acworth. Officials allege he then drove to nearby Atlanta and opened fire at two additional Asian spas, Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa, killing four more people. A fifth person was injured. He was arrested in Crisp County nearly 200 miles away from Woodstock. Deputies named the 21-year-old man as the suspect at about 8 p.m. and announced his arrest minutes later.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that earlier that day, he was buying a gun. Big Woods Goods in Holly Springs told the newspaper he purchased a gun from them, and that they are cooperating with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp commended law enforcement on their quick apprehension of the suspect and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter.
“Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence,” he wrote on Twitter. “We deeply appreciate the quick apprehension of a suspect by @ga_dps in coordination with local and federal law enforcement.”
Officials Said Long Was Found With a 9-mm Gun & They Are Investigating Whether the Firearm Used in the Shooting Was Legally Purchased
Law enforcement said little about the firearm used in the Atlanta metro shootings during a Wednesday morning press conference, aside from saying he was found with a 9-mm gun in his vehicle during his arrest in Crisp County. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jay Baker said they are investigating whether the firearm was legally purchased. He did not indicate how many shots were fired or confirm whether the 9-mm was the gun used in the shooting.
The company told CNN Long’s purchase was legal and proper.
The Daily Beast reported an Instagram account that “appeared to belong” to Long professed his love of God and guns. An Instagram spokesperson told CNN they deleted the account because they believed it was operated by Long. They said it was inactive for some time.
“Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life,” a tagline for the account said, according to The Daily Beast.
A classmate told the publication Long was a hunter. He said he hadn’t thought Long had violent tendencies.
“He was very innocent seeming and wouldn’t even cuss,” the classmate told The Daily Beast. “He was sorta nerdy and didn’t seem violent from what I remember. He was a hunter and his father was a youth minister or pastor. He was big into religion.”