Robert Aaron Long, 21, was charged on Wednesday in connection to three shootings in the Atlanta area.
Long told police he had a sex addiction and may have frequented the parlors before.
Six out of the eight victims were Asian women. Police have not yet given a motive.
The man arrested in connection to a string of deadly shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors is a 21-year-old from Woodstock, Georgia, who suggested to the police the attacks were due to a sex addiction and were not racially motivated.
Six out of eight of the victims were Asian women. Each attack had taken place at three massage parlors within an hour of one another on Tuesday.
Police caught Robert Aaron Long after a short car chase around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
Long on Wednesday was charged with eight murder counts and one count of aggravated assault in connection to the three attacks. He was charged with four counts of murder in Cherokee County where Long is from and four counts of homicide in Atlanta, where Long traveled after the first attack.
He has been detained in Cherokee County without bond, and waived his right to an attorney, officials said on Wednesday.
Long confessed to orchestrating all three shootings, officials with the Atlanta Police Department and Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said during a Wednesday morning press conference.
He told officials he had a sex addiction and may have frequented some of the businesses targeted in the past, officials said.
"It's a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate," Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department said.
'Targets of opportunity'
Long also told investigators that the attacks were not racially motivated, officials said Wednesday, adding that it was too early for investigators to make a call.
So far, the determination is that the crime may not have been racially motivated, Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said Wednesday.
"It may be targets of opportunity," Reynolds added. "Again, we believe that he frequented these places in the past and may have been lashing out."
A local news oulet, however, reported that Long shouted, "I want to kill all Asians" as he fired at the victims.
-Wei Ting (@intewig) March 17, 2021
Reynolds said he's heard nothing about whether politics may have been a factor, and he's not sure whether Long has expressed remorse.
Officials said Long was turned in by his mother and that the family has been "fully cooperative" with the investigation.
Long was arrested a few hours after the shootings Tuesday night after a brief pursuit in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Officials said he was heading south to Florida, where he was planning to attack "some type of porn industry."
The suspect was apparently a religious gun fanatic
Georgia law-enforcement authorities said Long was from Woodstock, Georgia, about a 20-minute drive east of the first shooting in Acworth.
According to The Washington Post, Long's family lives in a one-story, three-bedroom house in Woodstock, a middle-class, majority white, Atlanta suburb.
Mary Morgan, an 88-year-old woman who lives down the street from the Longs, told The Post that "they come across as a good Christian family."
"They used to go to church on a regular basis, and I've never seen anything bad out of them," Morgan said.
An anonymous source who said they attended Sequoyah High School with Long also told The Daily Beast that they remembered Long as being "sorta nerdy" and "big into religion."
-Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 17, 2021
"He was very innocent seeming and wouldn't even cuss. He was sorta nerdy and didn't seem violent from what I remember," the former classmate told The Daily Beast. "He was a hunter and his father was a youth minister or pastor. He was big into religion."
The Daily Beast also reported that an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Long had the bio: "Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It's a pretty good life."
Insider was not able to independently verify the Instagram bio reported by The Daily Beast. Social media companies like Facebook, which owns Instagram, often take down the profiles of suspects in the wake of mass-shooting events.
Insider has, however, found a comment previously made by the Instagram account purportedly belonging to Long.
The original post, written by another user, appeared to pay tribute to a friend, wishing him a "day filled with the power of Trump and 7.62x54R," a reference to a particular rifle round specifically designed for the Mosin-Nagant model.
The account that purportedly belongs to Long had left a comment on the post, cheering the Russian-style rifle. "Yeah! Mosin Nagant!" the comment said.
That comment now appears to have been deleted as of Wednesday morning. Insider has chosen not to publish a copy of the Instagram post.
Long is said to be a member of Crabapple First Baptist Church, and elders told Heavy.com in a statement that they were "heartbroken" by the news of his arrest in connection to the deadly shootings.
"We are grieved to hear the tragic news about the multiple deaths in the Atlanta area. We are heartbroken for all involved," the statement said. "We grieve for the victims and their families, and we continue to pray for them. Moreover, we are distraught for the Long family and continue to pray for them as well."
Attacks against Asian Americans have ballooned
South Korea's Foreign Ministry released a statement Wednesday, saying four of the victims were of Korean descent. The country's consulate general in Atlanta is trying to confirm their nationalities, the Associated Press reported.
The shootings come at a time of increased attacks against Asian Americans in the US, which appear to be connected to the fact the coronavirus outbreak was first identified in China.
The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, recently found that hate crimes targeting Asian Americans had increased by a whopping 150% during the pandemic.
President Joe Biden denounced these attacks in a prime-time address last week, calling them "wrong" and "un-American."
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