Members of Atlanta Shooting Suspect's Family Helped Police Identify & Find Him after Incident
The gunman responsible for the Atlanta spas shooting was found by authorities with his family members' help. They gave officers his cellphone details which were used to trace him.
Family members of the Atlanta shooting suspect played a crucial role in locating him after the fatal incident. According to Cherokee County's sheriff, in a press conference, the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, was found because of his family.
Sheriff Frank Reynolds revealed that after they put out a photo of the gunman on social media alongside an all-points bulletin (APB), the Cherokee country was contacted by members of the Long family, identifying their son.
Chief Rodney Bryant, of the Atlanta Police Department, speaks at a press conference on March 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia | Photo: Getty Images
Reynolds described the family as "very distraught" yet "very helpful" in the pursuit of the suspect. He shared that they gave him cellphone details of 21-year-old Robert, which they used to trace his movement.
The sheriff thanked Robert's family members for being helpful, praising them for being supportive even though it wasn't an easy thing to do. On Tuesday, Robert opened fire at three spas located in the Atlanta area.
The mass shooting left at least eight people dead, of which six were Asian women. Per reports, the suspect had targeted the massage parlors because he had visited them sometime in the past.
Yaun was identified as a customer who came to the massage parlor with her husband.
After the incident, he headed for Florida to attack a porn-industry before the police apprehended him. Investigators revealed that a conversation had with the suspect was able to unravel the possible motive behind the shooting.
Robert claimed he was battling sexual addiction and the massage parlor played a role in fueling his vice. Initially, it was believed that the attack was racially motivated as most of the victims were Asian.
However, with Robert's confession, state Rep. Bee Nguyen has described the incident as an "intersection of gender-based violence, misogyny, and xenophobia." Four of the victims have been identified.
Their names have been released as Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44. Yaun was identified as a customer who came to the massage parlor with her husband.
They were on a date when the attack happened. Yaun left behind a 13-year-old son and an 8-month-old daughter, according to her mother. Transcripts of the 911-calls from the shooting have since been released.
Rodney Bryant, the Chief of Atlanta Police, said it is too early to determine if the attack was racially motivated or a hate crime. The tragic incident as spurred on a series of protests against Asian-hate.
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