Eight people are dead after a suspect allegedly opened fire at three Atlanta-area spas Tuesday night. The horrific incident began in the suburbs, with five people shot, four of them fatally, around 5pm at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor in Acworth, about 30 miles from Atlanta, the AP reports. Less than an hour later, police responded to a report of a robbery in progress at Gold Spa in Atlanta, and found three women shot dead. While at that scene, a call was made to report shots fired across the street at Aromatherapy Spa; another woman was found dead there. By 8:30pm Robert Aaron Long, 21, was in custody, CNN reports.
A motive is not yet clear, but the shootings come amid a wave of increasing violence against Asian-Americans that many have attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, and authorities say six of the Tuesday victims are Asian women, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. A white woman and a white man were also killed, and a Hispanic man was injured. Authorities in Acworth don't believe robbery was a motive, as nothing appears to have been taken from that spa, 11 Alive reports. "Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence," Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted. Police say surveillance footage points to Long as the suspect in all three shootings; he has been charged with murder. (Read more Atlanta stories.)