Chilling video shows shootings suspect at spa before deadly rampage

Surveillance video obtained by CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL-TV shows Robert Aaron Long driving up to and walking toward one of three area spas where he allegedly shot and killed eight people Tuesday, then leaving a little over an hour later. Six of the eight were women of Asian descent. Another man was wounded.

Long, 21, was charged Wednesday with eight counts of murder for the shootings at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta, and two Atlanta businesses, Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa, which are across the street from each other.

The video, which WGCL got from a business next door to Young’s, has a timestamp showing Long parking his SUV outside the spa around 2:37 p.m. He sits in his vehicle for the next hour, directly in front of the business.

The video shows him leaving the SUV at 3:37 p.m. and walking toward the spa. He’s also seen in the video struggling with something on his side or back.

At 4:50 p.m., Long is seen getting back into the SUV and immediately driving off. Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies arrive minutes later.

Dozens of mourners gathered outside of Young’s Thursday evening at a vigil for all eight victims, WGCL reports.

“Surely, we can all agree that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight,” said Brittany Bengert, the vigil’s organizer.

Among those in attendance was Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds, who got emotional while addressing the crowd and promised a conviction in the case.

“This just doesn’t happen here, and I just want our community to know, the world to know we’re better than this,” Reynolds said, choking up. “Our hearts go out to these people.

Authorities said Long bought the 9 mm handgun the day of the shootings. 

The killings sparked fear and outrage in the Asian American community, which has faced a dramatic spike in violence during the coronavirus pandemic.

Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said the department continues to lend its support to the Asian American community.

Investigators said Long claimed the attack wasn’t racially motivated, but they also said it was too early to rule out a hate crime. Long told detectives he had a “sex addiction” and viewed the spas as a temptation he wanted to eliminate, officials said.

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