News, Culture & Society

Chilling video shows Atlanta gunman watching his victims enter the spa before killing four

Exclusive video shows gunman Robert Aaron Long parked outside Young’s Asian Massage Parlor Tuesday afternoon, sitting patiently in the driver’s seat of his black Hyundai Tucson and eerily watching people enter before he stepped inside and opened fired, killing four.

A short while later, the surveillance video obtained by DailyMail.com shows the door swing back open and Long step out. The 21-year-old rushes back to his vehicle, hops in and speeds off to 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. 

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 at the time and restrained him as a precaution.

Exclusive video obtained by DailyMail.com shows gunman Robert Aaron Long parked outside Young’s Asian Massage Parlor Tuesday afternoon and eerily watching people enter before he stepped inside and opened fired, killing four

Moments later he's seen rushing back to his vehicle, hops in and speeds off to continue his massacre at two other Atlanta area spas

Moments later he’s seen rushing back to his vehicle, hops in and speeds off to continue his massacre at two other Atlanta area spas

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

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.

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.

Long shot dead eight people including six Asian women at three parlors - one in Acworth and two in Atlanta - on Tuesday. He then went on the run and was driving to Florida to target porn-industry locations when he was arrested 150 miles south of Atlanta. Police rammed his Hyundai off the road to take him into custody

 Long shot dead eight people including six Asian women at three parlors – one in Acworth and two in Atlanta – on Tuesday. He then went on the run and was driving to Florida to target porn-industry locations when he was arrested 150 miles south of Atlanta. Police rammed his Hyundai off the road to take him into custody

Three woman who'd just exited the spa and were standing on the sidewalk. 'Somebody inside, they shot, they shot!' one of the women cried out

Three woman who’d just exited the spa and were standing on the sidewalk. ‘Somebody inside, they shot, they shot!’ one of the women cried out 

Alex Acosta, who works with his wife Rita Barron at Gabby’s Boutique next door, was washing his hands in a sink in the back of his shop when the first shot rang out. He told DailyMail.com he heard four shots in short succession. 

Robert Aaron Long, 21, killed eight people - six Asian women, a white woman and a white man - in a three-hour crime spree at three different spas on Tuesday

Robert Aaron Long, 21, killed eight people – six Asian women, a white woman and a white man – in a three-hour crime spree at three different spas on Tuesday

Running to the front of the store, he saw three woman who’d just exited the spa and were standing on the sidewalk.

‘Somebody inside, they shot, they shot!’ one of the women, of Asian dissent, cried out to him, her English limited.

Acosta called out to his wife, directing her to ‘call 911!’ Barron was inside the shop, which one of the bullets pierced, leaving a tiny hole in the shared wall.

Acosta saw the man who’d been placed in handcuffs. He recognized him as Mario Gonzalez, whose wife Delaina was inside with a fatal bullet wound.

‘Mario looked at me and he told me his wife was still inside,’ Acosta recalled. ‘He told me to tell the police.’

When Acosta’s wife told a cop about Delaina, the officer replied, ‘I know.’

Rita Barron had know Delaina for years. She said Delaina would shop in her boutique. Barron would also see her at a nearby Waffle House where Delaina worked as a waitress.

‘I feel sad for all the families because we knew all the people who were involved,’ Barron said. 

Alex Acosta, who works with his wife Rita Barron at Gabby's Boutique next door, was washing his hands in a sink in the back of his shop when the first shot rang out. He told DailyMail.com he heard four shots in short succession

Alex Acosta, who works with his wife Rita Barron at Gabby’s Boutique next door, was washing his hands in a sink in the back of his shop when the first shot rang out. He told DailyMail.com he heard four shots in short succession

'I feel sad for all the families because we knew all the people who were involved,' shop owner Rita Barron said. Her friend Delaina was killed in the spa

‘I feel sad for all the families because we knew all the people who were involved,’ shop owner Rita Barron said. Her friend Delaina was killed in the spa 

Small droplets of blood can be seen on the ground next to flowers and cards memorializing the victims of the shooting

Small droplets of blood can be seen on the ground next to flowers and cards memorializing the victims of the shooting 

Four of the eight victims have now been named as; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44. Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was injured but survived

Four of the eight victims have now been named as; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44. Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was injured but survived

Long shot dead eight people including six Asian women at three parlors – one in Acworth and two in Atlanta – on Tuesday. He then went on the run and was driving to Florida to target porn-industry locations when he was arrested 150 miles south of Atlanta. Police rammed his Hyundai off the road to take him into custody. 

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, was killed in the first parlor in Acworth. Her friends claim she was a customer and had gone to the parlor in Acworth to get her own massage when she was killed

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, was killed in the first parlor in Acworth. Her friends claim she was a customer and had gone to the parlor in Acworth to get her own massage when she was killed

Four of the eight victims have now been named as; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44. Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was injured but survived. Friends of Yaun say that she and her husband were there for a couple’s massage. He escaped but she was killed.  

Not all of the victims were staff. Yaun’s friends say she was a paying customer who was in the parlor to get a couple’s treatment with her husband. 

Initially, police said they were probing whether race was a factor in the attacks because six of the eight victims were Asian women. 

But on Wednesday morning, they said Long told them that was not why he carried out the attacks. Instead, he said he is addicted to sex and porn, and wanted to remove the ‘temptation’ of the parlors. 

He told police that he saw the parlors as an ‘outlet’ for his sex addiction. Detectives have not clarified if he had ever engaged in sex acts with any of the staff there. 

He has been charged with four counts of murder and aggravated assault in Cherokee County, where the first salon is that was targeted. He hasn’t yet been in charged in Atlanta.

The gunman bought his 9mm handgun hours before the rampage. He was on his way to Florida to carry out more attacks when he was caught. The Florida locations were somehow connected to pornography, police said on Wednesday without revealing more details.  

‘He claims that it was not racially motivated… he has an issue that he considers a sex addiction and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places… it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,’ Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office said at a Wednesday press conference.

Baker added that it had been a ‘very bad day’ for the suspect, and said: ‘He was at the end of his rope’. He didn’t elaborate on what had happened earlier in the day. 

Three shootings at spas and massage parlors around Atlanta left eight people dead and police on the hunt for those responsible

Robert Aaron Long is being held here at the Cherokee County Detention Center

Robert Aaron Long is being held here at the Cherokee County Detention Center

The suspect was captured by surveillance video pulling up to Young's Asian Massage around 4:50pm, just minutes before the shooting

The suspect was captured by surveillance video pulling up to Young's Asian Massage around 4:50pm, just minutes before the shooting

The suspect was captured by surveillance video pulling up to Young’s Asian Massage around 4:50pm, just minutes before the shooting

People with the medical examiner's office wheel out a body on a stretcher from the Gold Spa massage parlor where three people were shot and killed on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia

People with the medical examiner’s office wheel out a body on a stretcher from the Gold Spa massage parlor where three people were shot and killed on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia

Bodies are wheeled out of Gold Spa in Atlanta where a man opened fire. Two other massage parlors were targeted

Bodies are wheeled out of Gold Spa in Atlanta where a man opened fire. Two other massage parlors were targeted

The shootings occurred on Tuesday afternoon around the Atlanta area. A body is seen being wheeled out of Gold Spa

The shootings occurred on Tuesday afternoon around the Atlanta area. A body is seen being wheeled out of Gold Spa

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN on Wednesday that she wanted the most severe charges possible against Robert Aaron Long, 21.

‘I think whatever the stiffest most appropriate charges there are, this guy should face those charges,’ said Bottoms. 

‘In Georgia, you can be charged with a hate crime. 

‘It covers a variety of areas and I personally think it would be appropriate, but I will defer to the prosecutors to make that determination.’ 

Long, who was arrested shortly after the shootings, has told police that his attack was not racially motivated. He said he was suffering from a sex addiction, and wanted to ‘remove temptation’.

Yet Bottoms said it was hard to ignore that Asian Americans were singled out.  

‘This is a man who murdered, eight people in cold blood, so it’s very difficult to believe what he says,’ said Bottoms. 

‘It’s difficult to ignore the fact that many of the victims were Asian, all of the victims in Atlanta were Asian, in fact, and that he targeted these Asian massage parlors.’

Bottoms said it is important that people stand in solidarity with the Asian American community at this time. 

‘They are being targeted unfairly and in Atlanta, what we’ve seen the worst has happened,’ she said.

She spoke hours after Georgia police were branded racist for saying the gunman was having a ‘bad day’ when he killed six Asian women, a white woman and a white man.  

Four of the women were of Korean descent. 

President Joe Biden also said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference that he was making ‘no connection at this moment’ between the killings and race. 

He said: ‘I’m very concerned, because as you know, I’ve been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple months, and I think it is very, very troubling.’

Police issued this photo of Long before he was arrested on Tuesday night

Robert Aaron Long, 21, told police that he has a sex addiction and viewed the parlors as an 'outlet' and 'temptation' that he wanted to remove. He confessed to the killings after police rammed his car off the road at 8pm on Tuesday night. He was on his way to Florida to carry out more attacks

Long told police that he has a sex addiction and viewed the parlors as an ‘outlet’ and ‘temptation’ that he wanted to remove.  He confessed to the killings after police rammed his car off the road at 8pm on Tuesday night. He was on his way to Florida to carry out more attacks. He has been charged with four counts of murder and aggravated assault in Cherokee County, where the first salon is that was targeted. He hasn’t yet been in charged in Atlanta

Pictured is Long's home in Woodstock, Georgia.u00A0Officers say they found Robert Aaron Long, 21, thanks to help from his parents, who recognized him from surveillance footage posted by authorities and gave investigators his cellphone information. Cherokee County sheriff Frank Reynolds said cops then used that information to track and find him, adding: 'Theyu2019re very distraught, and they were very helpful in this apprehension'

Pictured is Long’s home in Woodstock, Georgia. Officers say they found Robert Aaron Long, 21, thanks to help from his parents, who recognized him from surveillance footage posted by authorities and gave investigators his cellphone information. Cherokee County sheriff Frank Reynolds said cops then used that information to track and find him, adding: ‘They’re very distraught, and they were very helpful in this apprehension’

Incidents of bias against Asian people have spiked in recent months after the coronavirus was tied to Wuhan, China, and former President Donald Trump took to calling it the ‘China Virus’. 

Biden added: ‘I am making no connection at this moment to the motivation of the killer. I’m waiting for an answer as the investigation proceeds from the FBI and from the Justice Department. 

‘I’ll have more to say when the investigation is completed.’ 

But online, some Twitter users have argued Capt. Baker’s bad day comments are an example of white privilege in action. 

Hari Kondabolu said: ‘The fact he sees ASIAN WOMEN as ‘temptations’ for his sex addiction is racial motivation. Not seeing this as racist IS racist. #StopAsianHate.’ 

Qasim Rashid tweeted: ‘Retweet if you’ve had a bad day during this pandemic or ever in life and didn’t mass murder 8 people. Apparently that’s where the bar is now. White supremacy is a helluva drug.’ 

But Tim Willcutts defended Capt. Baker, writing: ‘He wasn’t apologizing for him. He was attempting to explain why this happened.’ Alicia Gibbs said: ‘He’s relaying what the investigators said. He wasn’t apologizing.’  

Another Twitter user, Shannon Hillis, said: ‘Not everything is about race.’ 

Greg Rook tweeted: ‘Two of the six shot outside Atlanta were not Asian. What would you say if he shot mostly WASPs, that he was a racist hating on white people? BTW, I am a very progressive, liberal democrat, but I’m tiring of this constant virtue signaling. Not everything is about race or racism.’ WASPs refers to white Anglo-Saxon protestants.

Long’s family – including his youth minister father – are said to be ‘devastated’ by his actions and are cooperating with the investigation. 

His parents are said to have called 911 to report their son after seeing surveillance photos of him released by police during the rampage. 

Capt. Baker said: ‘We are really appreciative of the family. Without them, this would not have happened as, well, as quickly as it happened. They were very supportive, and certainly this was difficult for them.’

COPS AND BIDEN SAY RACE WAS NOT THE MOTIVE 

Police on Wednesday said racism did not seem to be Long’s motive. 

They didn’t entirely rule it out, saying it was too early in the investigation to do that, but said he told them his motive was to get rid of the ‘temptation’ of the parlors.  

But the killings come amid a spate of anti-Asian-American attacks.  

Democrats on Wednesday condemned the incidents in Atlanta and Acworth and tied them to the racist attacks.   

President Biden on Wednesday said: ‘I know that Asian-Americans are very, very concerned because, as you know, I was speaking about the brutality against Asian-American for the last couple months. 

‘And I think it is very, very troubling.’

Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, a minister, said ‘this kind of violence’ is driven by hate even if the suspect said that was not his motive.

‘Anybody who takes precious lives in that manner is driven by hate,’ he told reporters on Capitol Hill.

‘This kind of violence happens too often in America. And we weep with those who weep. But we got to do everything we can in terms of addressing bigotry and hate in our country,’ he said.

President Joe Biden will be briefed over the phone by Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray on the shootings later Wednesday morning, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms said on Wednesday: ‘Whatever the motivation was for this guy, we know that many of the victims were Asian. We also know that this is an issue that is happening across the country. It is unacceptable, hateful and it has to stop.

‘We are coordinating in real team to make sure our communities have the resources that they need. We have not seen a significant uptick in formal complaints but obviously this is a large metropolitan area.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk