Suspect in Atlanta spa killings ‘big into religion’

(RNS) — A Woodstock, Georgia, resident has been arrested just after a killing spree remaining…

(RNS) — A Woodstock, Georgia, resident has been arrested just after a killing spree remaining 8 useless in spas all around the larger Atlanta place Tuesday (March 16).

Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been arrested in link with the killings of four ladies at a spa in Cherokee County, Ga, and 4 more women of all ages in two other spas in northeast Atlanta, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to law enforcement, the suspect advised them he had a “sexual dependancy,” and he carried out the slayings to get rid of the temptation these types of locations posed to him. Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office environment mentioned Extended claimed he was on his way to Florida, in which he experienced planned to dedicate similar functions of violence at a spot linked with “the porn industry there.”

6 of the eight spa victims have been Asian women, raising concerns between the presently alarmed Asian American local community, which has faced a latest spike in anti-Asian dislike crimes about the place. Just about 3,800 hate-linked incidents have been reported by Asian People given that the start off of the pandemic, according to a report produced Tuesday by End AAPI Detest. Authorities have explained it is way too early to tell if Tuesday’s attacks had been racially inspired. 

“The claimed shootings of Asian American gals on Tuesday in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy — for the families of the victims initial and foremost, but also for the AAPI community — which has been reeling from significant levels of racial discrimination,” tweeted End AAPI Hate on Tuesday evening.

Related: Enable the church declare: Asian Lives Make a difference

An official from the South Korean Consulate in Atlanta verified that four of the slain women of all ages ended up of Korean descent, in accordance to information reviews.

This scheduling picture presented by the Crisp County Sheriff’s Place of work reveals Robert Aaron Extensive on March 16, 2021. Prolonged was arrested as a suspect in the fatal shootings of various people at 3 Atlanta-region spas, most of them girls of Asian descent, authorities mentioned. Picture courtesy of Crisp County Sheriff’s Office

Little is identified about the suspect at this place, but a fellow student who graduated superior school with Extensive in 2017 told The Daily Beast on Tuesday evening that “he was big into religion” and that Long’s father was “a youth minister or pastor.”

Although not a pastor, Long’s father was “considered an significant lay chief in the church,” according to Brett Cottrell, who led the youth ministry at Crabapple Initially Baptist Church in Milton, Georgia, in which the family members attended.

A publish on the now-deleted Fb page of Crabapple indicated Lengthy was baptized there and documents show he was a member of a youth group there in 2018, in accordance to the Occasions.

Cottrell explained to the Washington Post Extensive was an active member of the church and the youth group “was his deal.” He would stack chairs and clean flooring and served with a yard Bible club for children.

Long’s parents served recognize him in the surveillance movies, contacting the police to say they recognized their son. In accordance to The New York Instances, Long’s parents had claimed him missing in January 2019.

“They arrive throughout as a fantastic Christian family,” Mary Morgan, a neighbor of the suspect’s household, told The Washington Write-up. “They utilized to go to church on a normal basis, and I have by no means witnessed just about anything poor out of them.”

The Each day Beast also pointed out the tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Very long: “Pizza, guns, drums, tunes, family members, and God. This pretty a lot sums up my daily life. It is a fairly very good lifestyle.”

Extensive was to start with discovered as a suspect in shootings at Young’s Asian Therapeutic massage Parlor in Cherokee County, which still left 4 dead and a single wounded. Movie footage captured the suspect pulling up at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, minutes prior to the shooting, according to the Cherokee sheriff’s office. 

All over 5:45 p.m., four far more men and women ended up shot and killed in two Atlanta spas throughout the road from each individual other. 

“It does seem that it’s the similar suspect,” Baker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, centered on surveillance photographs that spot Long’s motor vehicle at the second and 3rd crime scenes.

Relevant: The Atlanta massacre is nevertheless a further reminder we desperately have to have race-acutely aware discipleship

Extended was captured about 150 miles south of Atlanta, in Crisp County, close to 8:30 p.m. 

President Joe Biden spoke on Wednesday immediately after being briefed on the shootings, declaring that while he did not want to attract conclusions about the determination powering the killings, he understands “Asian People in america are incredibly concerned. For the reason that, as you know, I have been talking about the brutality from Asian Americans for the very last few months, and I imagine it is extremely, pretty troubling.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, the very first lady and the first Asian American to hold the workplace, responded to the shootings as effectively on Wednesday, speaking for the duration of a meeting with Irish officials. “I do want to say to our Asian American community that we stand with you and comprehend how this has frightened and shocked and outraged all men and women,” she stated.

This tale was up to date to replicate new information and facts that Long’s father was not a pastor, but a church lay leader.