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The Daily Beast

Massage Parlor Rampage Suspect Had ‘Sexual Addiction’: Sheriff

Crisp County Sheriff/ReutersThe Georgia man who confessed to killing eight people in a string of shootings at Asian massage parlors told police he has sex-addiction issues and wanted to “eliminate” the “temptation,” authorities said Wednesday.“Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said, referencing suspect Robert Aaron Long’s explanation for the Tuesday night carnage.The 21-year-old—who appeared to highlight a love of guns and God on his Instagram account—was caught on video Tuesday night at three metro Atlanta massage parlors where eight people, including six Asian women, were shot to death, police said. He was eventually nabbed on a highway two hours south of Atlanta after a police chase, and he has been charged with murder and attempted murder.Long admitted he was on his way to a pornography-related venue in Florida, authorities said, adding that it was “very likely there would have been more victims.”Massage Parlor Massacres Suspect Said He Loved Guns & GodPolice said Long—who has a hunting license—purchased the weapon used in the rampage just prior to the shootings. Because the shooting spree came amid a wave of anti-Asian violence in the United States, there were questions about whether the gunman was targeting the victims because of their ethnicity.Police said Wednesday that it is too early to tell whether the murders could be categorized as a hate crime, but Long allegedly told them he was not gunning for people of Asian descent in particular.Long allegedly told them he “had some issues, including sexual addiction” that may have contributed to the spree.“It may be the targets of opportunity… we believe he frequented these places in the past and may have been lashing out,” Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said.Cherokee County Capt. Jay Baker added that Long “did take responsibility for the shootings,” indicating to police that he was “pretty fed up” and “at the end of his rope” at the time of the rampage.Long told police he blamed the massage establishments for his addiction. “It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Baker added. John and Barbara Hayes, of Sandy Springs, Georgia, bring flowers and offer prayers at the steps of Gold Spa. Virginie Kippelen/AFP via Getty The bloodbath began at the Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County, where Long quickly killed two people, police said. A third person at the parlor succumbed to their injuries en route to a nearby hospital and a fourth died while in treatment. One person was also wounded at the parlor.The victims killed there have been identified as Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54. Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, was also shot and injured at Young’s but is expected to survive. About an hour later, three people were found dead at the Gold Massage Spa in Atlanta. Another person was fatally shot at the Aroma Therapy Spa, located across the street. The names of those victims have not yet been released.Reynolds said Wednesday that Long was apprehended after police were “contacted by members of the family indicating that may be their son” after the initial shooting.“They were very distraught and they were very helpful in this apprehension,” he said.With the family’s help, police were able to track his phone and anticipate his movements before Georgia State Police in Crisp County eventually stopped Long with a PIT maneuver, or a pursuit intervention technique, in which police force another car to plow sideways and stop.After his arrest, Long was interviewed by the Cherokee County police, the Atlanta police, and the FBI at Cherokee County adult detention center. There, they said, he revealed his sex-addiction issues and revealed he bought the gun just hours earlier.Long is the son of a youth pastor and is heavily involved in the church, a student who graduated from Sequoyah High with Long in 2017 told The Daily Beast. “He… wouldn’t even cuss,” the woman said. “He was big into religion.”The tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Long read: “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life.”The White House was briefed on the shootings overnight, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken referenced them in comments on a trip to South Korea—where officials said four of the victims were of Korean descent.Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said that “a crime against any community is a crime against us all.” “We know that many of the victims, the majority of the victims, were Asian. We also know that this is an issue that’s happening across the country. It is unacceptable, it is hateful, and it has to stop,” Bottoms said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.