Man accused of Spa Shooting in Georgia Pleads guilty

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Robert Aaron Long, a 22 years old Georgian man who was arrested in connection with the spa shooting which in March, 2021 has pleaded guilty to the 23 charges levelled against him in connection with the shooting. The defendant’s lawyers negotiated with the Cherokee District Attorney’s office for a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. 

The Defendant was alleged to have killed eight persons in shootings that took place at Cherokee county and Atlanta. Out of the eight persons killed, six of them were Asians including Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng and Delaina Ashley Yaun-Gonzalez, the defendant also severely injured another man named Elcias Rocendo Hernandez Ortiz who sustained grievous bodily harm after being shot in the face.

Despite the plea arrangement with the Cherokee county, Aaron Long still faces the death sentence for killing four persons at two spas, the District Attorney for the Fulton county has already initiated the process of bringing Long to the County jail before he is arraigned on multiple counts of murder, domestic terrorism, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon while commiting a felony. The Fulton county District Attorney Fani Willis has mentioned that the Da’s Office would be pursuing the death sentence as well hate crimes charges which would begin the moment Long is done with the Cherokee county.

The Shootings were carried out in March 16, where the Defendant shot and killed four persons, three women, two of which had asian backgrounds, at Youngs Asian Massage in Cherokee county. Thereafter, the defendant went all the way to another Spa in Atlanta and killed 3 women in a shooting, not being satisfied, he went across the street to yet another spa Aromatherapy spa and also shot and killed another woman. The names of the victims are Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong Yue.

In his initial interview, Long stated that he had addiction for sex and his actions against the spa were because he viewed them as a source of temptation for him. The murders resulted in an unprecendented increase in the number of crimes targeted at Asian Americans and this was further exacerbated by the rhetorics used by President Trump in describing the Coronavirus as a China virus.

In other news, the state of Georgia is poised to overtake the officer involved shooting statistics of 2020, in the year 2021. The year 2020 recorded 96 shootings, while as at November 6th, 2021 the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has disclosed that there have been 84 shootings involving police officers in the state. The most recent of these shootings involved a Jackson county deputy who was shot while attending to a domestic incident, same thing happened to a Henry County police officer who was grievously injured after being shot while handling a domestic situation in the area of Keys Ferry Road and Floresta Drive. For the officers, they are less concerned with the dangers and risks associated with the profession as they are concerned with how they are accepted, welcomed and perceived in the community.