8 Killed In Shootings At Atlanta-Area Spas

Eight people are dead were wounded following shootings at three Atlanta-area spas on Tuesday (March 16) evening.

Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Georgia, was arrested following a brief manhunt, Cherokee County Sheriff's Captain Jay Baker confirmed to NBC News.

Federal agents joined the investigation into the incidents on Tuesday, which began in Acworth, a suburb north of Atlanta, and later included two other shootings in Atlanta, with at least six of the victims appearing to be Asian women, officials confirmed.

NBC News reports four women were killed in the Acworth shooting at around 5:00 p.m. and four others were killed in the two Atlanta shootings less than an hour later.

The FBI confirmed it was "assisting the local investigations" on Wednesday (March 17) morning, but no additional details have been released on the organization's involvement at the time of publication.

The Atlanta Police Department is scheduled to hold a press conference on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement "a crime against any community is a crime against us all" in response to the apparent targeted shootings.

"I commend law enforcement for their quick work in arresting a suspect in the tragic shootings," Mayor Bottoms said via NBC News. "I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed President Joe Biden was briefed about the shootings in the Atlanta-area.

"White House officials have been in touch with the mayor’s office and will remain in touch with the FBI," Psaki said.

South Korea's foreign ministry told NBC News four of the eight women killed in the shootings were of Korean origin, but their nationalities have yet to be verified by authorities as of Wednesday morning.

Authorities have not identified the victims or disclosed a suspected motive prior to Wednesday's press conference.

Captain Baker said Cherokee County deputies discovered two people dead upon arrival and three others wounded at the Acworth massage parlor. All three injured victims were transported to a local hospital where two later died.

Officials in Atlanta responded to a report of a robbery on Piedmont Road about 45 minutes later and discovered three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds. The department received a report of shots fired from across the street while at the scene and found a woman dead inside the business.

The killings come amid a growing number of anti-Asian hate incidents nationwide amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Research released through Stop AAPI Hate, an Asian American group, showed nearly 3,800 incidents were reported during the last year, which included a disproportionate number of attacks directed at women.

Photo: Getty Images

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