Prosecutor seeks hate crime charges, death penalty in Atlanta spa shootings

A Georgia district attorney will seek the death penalty and hate crimes charges against Atlanta spa shootings suspect Robert Aaron Long.

Long is accused of killing eight people, including six Asian women, in a spree targeting three Atlanta-area spas on March 16.

PHOTO: Booking photo provided by the Crisp County, Ga., Sheriff's Office shows Robert Aaron Long, 22, accused of killing eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses.

Long was indicted Tuesday on murder and other charges stemming from the shootings.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed notice regarding the hate crime charges and seeking the death penalty against Long on Tuesday.

Long was indicted in Fulton County for the deaths of Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63 — four of the eight deaths in the attacks at two Atlanta-area spas.

The filing notice of intent states that Long intentionally selected his targets because of their “actual or perceived race, national origin, sex and gender.”

In total, Long was indicted on 19 counts: four counts of murder, four counts of felony murder, five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, five counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and one count of domestic terrorism, according to the indictment.

A separate grand jury in Cherokee County will decide on charges for the shooting at a spa near suburban Woodstock that claimed the lives of Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Yaun, 33; and Paul Michels, 54.

Officials did not share a motive for the attack. Long told investigators that he blamed the businesses he targeted for providing an outlet for his addiction to sex, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office said at the time.

Willis will host a press conference on the charges at 5:45 p.m. local time.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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