Massage parlour massacre suspect charged with murder and ‘blames sex addiction’

An accused mass killer allegedly told cops he gunned down his massage parlour victims due to his "sex addiction" and not racism.

US police allege that deeply religious Robert Long, 21, had taken "responsibility" for the killings on Tuesday that left eight dead, Fox News reports.

The shootings took place at a massage parlour in Acworth, a suburb north of Atlanta, Georgia, and two more in the city itself.

Long has so far been charged with at least four counts of murder and a single count of aggravated assault, according to a press release. He is expected to be arraigned on Thursday morning.

Police said two of the fatal victims were white, while the other six victims were Asian Americans. Seven were women.

Captain Jay Baker of Cherokee County said: “He claims that it was not racially motivated. He apparently has an issue which he considers a sex addiction and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places.

“He said it was a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the suspect, who is deeply religious, was arrested as he drove to Florida to "perhaps to carry out additional shootings.”

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She said, “this could have been significantly worse”.

South Korea confirmed that four of the victims were of Korean descent.

Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have spiked in recent months, fuelled by rhetoric that blames them for the spread of Covid-19.

In an address last week, President Joe Biden condemned "vicious hate crimes against Asian-Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated.”

His predecessor, Donald Trump, continues to blame the pandemic, which has claimed 536,000 American lives, solely on China.

On a now-removed Instagram page, Long wrote: “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God.

“This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life.”

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Little is known of the suspect or his alleged motive other than that he was an enthusiastic baptist who hunted with his father when he was a child.

His family had tipped off police fearing he was about to go on a killing spree.

The shootings, which happened within the space of about an hour, began at Young's Asian Massage in Acworth, Cherokee County about 30 miles northwest of Atlanta.

  • Eight shot dead and two injured in spas and massage parlour as man arrested

Two people died at the scene and three were taken to hospital, where two more died.

Less than an hour later, police were called to a "robbery in progress" at Gold Spa in northeast Atlanta.

"Upon arrival, officers located three females deceased inside the location from apparent gunshot wounds," police said.

While there, officers were called to a spa across the street, called Aromatherapy Spa, where they found another woman shot dead.

Long was taken into custody about 150 miles south of Atlanta on Tuesday night after police tracked the suspect’s phone.

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