Robert Aaron Long is the alleged gunman who killed eight people in a shocking attack in Atlanta, Georgia. The shootings, which focused on two spas in Atlanta and another in Acworth, left eight people, most of them Asian, dead. Investigators initially considered a racially-inspired motive due to the identity of the victims, but police later announced that Aaron’s motive was based on sex addiction.
Aaron had attended rehab for sex addiction in 2019 and 2020, and was planning to kill himself as he couldn’t rid himself of the vice. He opted out of that plan, and instead decided to ‘help’ others with sex addiction by targeting massage parlors.
Robert’s parents helped identify him after police released CCTV footage of the suspect
Following reports of the shootings, police released surveillance footage of the suspect fleeing one of the scenes. Images of the suspect’s car were also circulated.
Upon identifying Robert as their son, Robert’s parents called police and informed them that Robert had a tracker on his car. Police then tracked Robert and intercepted him on his way to Florida.
Georgia Police captain Jay Baker told news outlets that it would have been much more difficult to track down Aaron without the help of his parents.
“This could’ve been significantly worse,” Atlanta mayor Keisha Bottoms said. “It’s very likely there would’ve been more victims.”
Robert was reportedly kicked out by his parents a day before the shootings
According to CNN, an anonymous caller revealed that his parents kicked him out a day before the shootings. Robert was reportedly ‘emotional.’
Long’s grandmother, Margaret Long, talked to CNN about Long. According to the outlet, the grandparents ‘visibly upset.’ Margaret told the outlet that they still consider Aaron family. “All I want to say is that he is our grandson and we still love him very much,” she said.