2021 Atlanta spa shootings

Coordinates: 33°48′35″N 84°21′58″W / 33.8096°N 84.3662°W / 33.8096; -84.3662 (Gold Spa)
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2021 Atlanta spa shootings
Part of mass shootings in the United States
LocationAtlanta and Acworth, Georgia, U.S.
DateMarch 16, 2021 (2021-03-16)
TargetPeople at massage parlors
Attack type
Mass shooting, shooting spree
Weapons9mm semi-automatic pistol
AccusedRobert Aaron Long[1]

The 2021 Atlanta spa shootings happened in suburbs around Atlanta, Georgia in the United States in 2021. A man shot and killed eight people at three spas on March 16, starting just before 5:00 p.m.[2] A suspect, Robert Aaron Long, was caught south of the city that night. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police are investigating the crime.[3]

Victims[change | change source]

Long shot four people at Young's Asian Massage. Two of them died there and two others died later at a hospital. He shot three more people at Gold Spa. He shot another person at Aroma Therapy Massage.[4]

Of the eight people Long shot, seven were women and one was a man.[5] Six of the eight people were Asian women; the other two were white. Four of the people were Koreans or Korean-Americans.[4] Long shot a ninth person, a Hispanic man, but he did not die.[6]

Some of the victims have been identified publicly.[3]

Suspect[change | change source]

Robert Aaron Long was arrested by police about 150 miles south of Atlanta. Long was 21 years old at the time. He is white. He is from Woodstock, Georgia.[7] People from the Atlanta Police Department say they have video evidence showing Long could be the shooter.[4] The Atlanta Police also say Long confessed to the crime.[8]

Aftermath[change | change source]

Authorities charged Long with eight counts of murder. His church, Crabapple First Baptist Church, threw him out as well.[2]

If authorities believe that Long killed the people because he hates Asians, he could be charged with a hate crime, which means he would spend more time in prison. Georgia passed a hate crime bill in 2020 after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.[9] The United States has had many more crimes against Asians than usual since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019.[10] After the spa shootings, many Asian Americans held up signs and posted on the Internet "Stop Asian Hate."[11]

Long told the police that he did not shoot the people because he hates Asians. He said he had sex addiction. The police said he shot the people because he thought of the massage parlors as a place that tempted him to have sex.[12]

In an interview for the media, Captain Jay Baker from the Sheriff's Office said that Long had been having "a really bad day" and was "at the end of his rope" when he shot the people. Many people said this was a bad thing to say because it sounded like he was making excuses for the killer.[11] Sheriff Frank Reynolds apologized: "We regret any heartache Captain Baker's words may have caused."[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Aggarwal, Mayank (March 17, 2021). "Atlanta spa shootings: What we know about 'religious, nerdy' suspect Robert Aaron Long". The Independent. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rick Rojas; Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio; Jack Healy (March 21, 2021). "After Spa Attacks, Officers Handcuffed Victim's Anguished Husband for Four Hours". New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Henri Hollis; Shaddi Abusaid; Alexis Stevens (March 17, 2021). "'A crime against us all': Atlanta mayor condemns deadly spa shooting spree". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Associated Press. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Amir Vera (March 17, 2021). "Here's what we know about the metro Atlanta spa shootings that left 8 dead". CNN. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  5. Richard Fausset; Neil Vigdor (March 21, 2021). "Six of the eight victims were Asian, and all but one was a woman". New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  6. Giulia McDonnell; Nieto del Rio; Edgar Sandoval; Anne Berryman (March 18, 2021). "What we know so far about the victims of the shooting spree". New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  7. Richard Fausset; Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs; Neil Vigdor (March 17, 2021). "A suspect has been arrested in the attacks". New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  8. Bill Chappell (March 17, 2021). "Atlanta Shooting Suspect Is Believed To Have Visited Spas He Targeted". NPR. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  9. Erin Donaghue (June 19, 2020). "Georgia's lieutenant governor proposes new hate crimes bill, igniting new concerns over passage". CBS. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  10. Sabrina Tavernise; Richard A. Oppel Jr. (March 23, 2020). "Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese-Americans Fear for Their Safety". New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Terry Tang; R.J. Rico; Aaron Morrison (March 18, 2021). "Asian Americans grieve, organize in wake of Atlanta attacks". AP. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  12. Kate Brumback (March 20, 2021). "Spa shootings could be first test of Georgia hate crimes law". Associated Press.