Robert Aaron Long, 22, was indicted Tuesday on murder charges by a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury, and District Attorney Fani Willis said she intends to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty
A prosecutor plans to seek to the death penalty against the white gunman who allegedly murdered eight people - six of them women of Asian descent - in three Atlanta-area massage spa shootings in March.
Robert Aaron Long, 22, was indicted Tuesday on murder charges by a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury, and District Attorney Fani Willis said she intends to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty.
After his arrest of the shootings in March, Long told police he wasn't racist, but was driven by his desire to 'eliminate' sexual 'temptation.'
He grew up with a deep-rooted religious background, even carrying a Bible around when he was younger, and felt shame over his addiction to porn and sex which he sought treatment for in rehab, his friends and former roommates have revealed.
Exclusive surveillance footage obtained by DailyMail.com shows Long parked outside Young's Asian Massage Parlor on the day of the shootings. He is seen sitting and patiently waiting in the driver's seat of his black Hyundai Tucson for exactly an hour before he stepped inside and allegedly opened fired, killing four.
A short while later, the surveillance video shows the door swing back open, and Long rushes back to his vehicle, hops in and speeds off to allegedly continue his massacre at two other Atlanta area spas.
Moments after he drove off, the video shows a few lucky survivors exiting the spa, followed by the arrival of cops and paramedics a few minutes later. One victim was carried out and left on the sidewalk with blood flowing from a bullet wound in the back of their head.
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A body is taken away from Gold Spa massage parlor after a shooting in Atlanta
Within minutes the video shows a few lucky survivors exiting the spa, followed by the arrival of cops and paramedics as one victim is seen on the sidewalk with blood flowing from a bullet wound to the head
One man who'd been getting a massage with his wife sat outside in handcuffs, as his wife lay dying inside. Police still hadn't identified a suspect, so restrained him as a precaution.
A make-shift memorial is seen outside the location of Long's first of three alleged shootings over the course of three hours
VICTIMS OF GEORGIA MASSAGE SPA SHOOTINGS
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33- DECEASED
Delaina was at Young's Asian Massage for a couple's treatment with her husband when friends say she was killed.
The mother-of-two's husband survived.
Paul Andre Michels, 54 - DECEASED
Xiaojie Yan, 49 - DECEASED
Daoyou Feng, 44 - DECEASED
Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz, 30 - INJURED
Elcias was shot in the throat, forehead, lungs and stomach.
He survived but he is in critical condition in the hospital.
Before he lost consciousness, he called his wife to tell her he'd been injured.
His wife, Flor Gonzalez, 27, told The Washington Post that he was likely on his way to a store next door to send money back to his family in Guatemala when he was attacked.
Doctors say they expect him to survive, despite the severity of his injuries.
Long was charged with four counts of 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, according to online records.
The four counts of murder are for Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63.
The indictment only covers those four killings that happened at two spas in Atlanta; not the attack in Cherokee County where Long allegedly killed Xiaojie 'Emily' Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Yaun, 33; and Paul Michels, 54, were killed.
A separate grand jury in Cherokee County will determine charges that shooting.
The killings are eligible for the death penalty because each was committed while Long was in the act of committing another capital offense, namely the killings of the victims, the prosecutor's notice of intent to seek the death penalty says.
Each killing was also 'outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved depravity of mind' and was committed during an act of domestic terrorism, the notice says.
Georgia's new hate crimes law does not provide for a stand-alone hate crime. After a person is convicted of an underlying crime, a jury must determine whether it's a hate crime, which carries an additional penalty.
Police have said Long shot and killed four people, three of them women and two of Asian descent, at Youngs Asian Massage near Woodstock just before 5 p.m. on March 16. He also shot and wounded a fifth person, investigators said.
He then drove about 30 miles south to Atlanta, where he shot and killed three women at Gold Spa before going across the the street to Aromatherapy Spa and fatally shooting another woman, police have said. All of the Atlanta victims were women of Asian descent.
After the shootings at the two Atlanta spas, Long got back into his car and headed south on the interstate, police said.
Long's parents called authorities to help after recognizing their son in still images from security video that the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office posted on social media. They provided cellphone information that allowed authorities to track their son to rural Crisp County, about 140 miles south of Atlanta.
State troopers and sheriff's deputies spotted his SUV on Interstate 75, and one of them forced Long to spin to a stop by bumping his vehicle. Long then surrendered to authorities.
Officials stand in front of a massage parlor after a shooting, in Atlanta
He told police that he is a sex addict who frequented the spas and blamed them for his addiction.
Friends shared more details of his intensely religious life. His father is a youth minister and he is an enthusiastic member of a South Baptist church which, after the shootings, said it was 'heartbroken'.
It has also been revealed that he sought treatment at Maverick Recovery, a treatment center in Atlanta, for sex addiction at the end of 2019 and early 2020.
Tyler Bayless, 35, told Reuters that he spent several months living at the Atlanta halfway house for recovering addicts with Long.
He said Long had been treated for sex addiction and that he frequented massage parlors for 'explicitly sexual activity.'
Bayless said Long was 'deeply religious' and would become 'very emotionally distraught that he frequented these places.'
'In the halfway house he would describe several of his sexual addiction "relapses" as he called them. He would have a deep feeling of remorse and shame and say he needed to return to prayer and to return to God,' he said.