The Georgia man arrested in connection with shootings at day spas in the Atlanta area that killed eight people, including six Asian women, said he had problems with sexual addiction, police officers said Wednesday.
21-year-old suspect Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, near Atlanta, said he visited spas in the area.
Long was arrested Tuesday night and held in a Cherokee County detention center. His mug shot, released by the authorities, showed him with a goatee, short hair on the sides of his head and longer hair on the top, some of which reached his eyes.
She graduated from Sequoyah High School in Canton, Georgia in 2017, according to a spokeswoman for the Cherokee County School District.
The Daily Beast reported that an Instagram account that seemed to belong to Long but was no longer active had a tagline that read, “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family and God. That sums up my life pretty well . It’s a pretty good life. “
Authorities said they had no early indications that Tuesday’s shootings were racially motivated. Six of the eight victims were women of Asian origin. A white woman and a white man were also among those killed. Long is white.
Officials said Long may have struggled with a sex addiction, which he cited as his motive for violence, directed primarily against minority women.
Elders from Crabapple First Baptist Church, which Long attended in nearby Milton, Georgia, made a statement expressing their grief over the shootings.
“We are heartbroken for everyone involved. We mourn the victims and their families and continue to pray for them,” the statement said. “We are also disturbed for the long family and continue to pray for them.”
The church appeared to have disabled its Facebook page, which contained a video clip from 2018 of Long talking about his baptismal and youth group in seventh grade when a speaker shared the biblical parable of the prodigal son, according to the Daily Beast.
“The son goes away and wastes everything he has and lives all to himself. When he then realizes that he wants to eat pork feed, he realizes that something is wrong and goes back to his father and his father runs back to him and hugs him, “Long said in the clip. “And by the grace of God I was able to make the connection there and see that this is a story between what happened to me and God.”
Long’s family did not respond to a request for comment. The family facilitated the arrest, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
Reuters visited the address given in the public records for the suspect and two other people by his last name. It was a humble, well-kept home in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Woodstock, a predominantly white parish in Cherokee County of about 33,000 people. On Wednesday the shadows were drawn and an American flag hung on an awning in front of the ranch-style house.
Summer Barber, a 21-year-old dog groomer who lives up the street, said she saw some of the residents ride four-wheelers on the weekends and had a few casual conversations with them, including offering to groom their gold doodle .
Barber said she believed she spoke to the suspect and a woman who might be his mother.