Atlanta mayor says suspect in spa shootings should face ‘the stiffest most appropriate charges’

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office

Investigators believe the gunman accused of shooting and killing several people at three different spas in the Atlanta area Tuesday purchased the weapon he used in the attack this week, law enforcement sources tell CNN.  

One of the sources said nothing in suspect Robert Aaron Long’s background would have prevented the purchase.

Long is accused of shooting and killing several people at three different spas in the Atlanta area Tuesday, according to authorities. 

During a Wednesday news conference, Sheriff Frank Reynolds, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Long “made indicators that he has some issues, potentially, sexual addiction, and may have frequented some of these places in the past.” 

Reynolds told reporters that the family of Long turned him in to authorities on Tuesday.

A law enforcement source said the suspect was recently kicked out of the house by his family due to his sexual addiction, which, the source said, included frequently spending hours on end watching pornography online.

According to an incident report from CCSO, a 911 caller said the suspect could possibly be his son and “does have a tracker on his phone.” Another anonymous caller to 911 told dispatch the suspect was “kicked out of his parents’ house last night,” adding that he “was emotional,” the incident report says. 

Long, 21, has been charged with, “four counts of Murder and one count of Aggravated Assault and has no bond,” the CCSO said in a Wednesday statement. He is currently detained at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center. He could face separate charges for the shootings he’s suspected of committing in Atlanta, but authorities there have not charged him yet. 

According to two law enforcement sources involved in the investigation, Long attempted to justify his actions when he told police he thought about killing himself, but decided instead to “help” others with sexual addictions by targeting spas.

One of the sources tells CNN, the suspect is on suicide watch and was wearing a vest intended to protect him from self-harm in the mug shot. 

FBI agents from the bureau’s Atlanta field office civil rights team continue to investigate whether race was a factor in the murders, one of the sources said.

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