A white man accused of killing eight people, most of whom were of Asian descent, at massage parlors in the Atlanta area has told police the attack was not racially motivated and that he potentially had a “sex addiction,” officials say.
Still, authorities say they are investigating whether the deaths were hate crimes amid concerns over a wave of attacks on Asian Americans. Six of the victims were identified as Asian and seven were women.
It is not clear if Robert Aaron Long, 21, ever went to the parlors where the shootings occurred; one official said he had while another indicated he may have only visited businesses like them. Authorities also said he was planning to go to Florida in a plot to attack “some type of porn industry.”
“He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places, and it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Cherokee County Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Jay Baker told reporters.