The 22-year-old man accused of opening fire at three Atlanta-area spas in March, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent, has been indicted by a grand jury in Georgia.
A Fulton County grand jury indicted Robert Aaron Long on murder charges connected to the March 16 killings of Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63; according to The Associated Press.
The indictment only covered those four killings at Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta, and not the attack in Cherokee County, in which Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Yaun, 33; and Paul Michels, 54, were killed.
The indictment charges Long with four counts of murder, four counts of felony murder, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and one count of domestic terrorism. A separate grand jury in Cherokee County will be tasked with determining what charges Long should face for the deadly shooting at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor, the AP reported.
In a notice filed in court, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty against Long, despite previously saying that she would not seek the death penalty against suspects as the county’s district attorney.
Authorities said Long first opened fire March 16 on five people at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor, two of which died at the scene while another two died at a hospital.
An hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at Gold Spa in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. While there, officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa. There, authorities said they found a woman who had been shot dead.
Authorities arrested Long in Crisp County on the night of the shootings.
Those killed included six women of Asian descent, a white woman, and a white man, sparking a high rate of reported hate crimes against Asians and people of Asian descent.
Reynolds said Long had a “potential sexual addiction” which might have played a role in the crime. Sheriff’s office Capt. Jay Baker, who faced criticism after saying that Long was “having a bad day” when he decided to open fire on March 16, said Long viewed the businesses as “a temptation to him that he wanted to eliminate.”