Parents of Atlanta shooter handed over GPS to police to track him

WION Web Team
Georgia, United States Published: Mar 18, 2021, 06:46 PM(IST)

Robert Aaron Long Photograph:( Reuters )

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While the police are unsure as to why Long's parents were tracking him, they agreed that the cooperation from his parents was one of the most essential aide in tracking Long

The 21-year-old suspect, Robert Aaron Long, held for Atlanta shootings — which killed eight people, of which six women were Asian-Americans.

On Wednesday, the Cherokee County Sheriff Captain Jay Baker revealed that the suspect's parents came forward and helped the police catch their son.

Baker said that after the first shooting at Young's Asian Massage in Acworth, local authorities released a screenshot of Long that they procured from security camera footage.

Also read | Motive in Georgia shootings uncertain; former roommate says suspect expressed shame over sex addiction

After the screenshot, Long's parents called the police and turned over a GPS tracking device that helped track his location through his car.

While the police are unsure as to why Long's parents were tracking him, they agreed that the cooperation from his parents was one of the most essential aide in tracking Long's Hyundai Tucson in Crisp County, which is 150 miles away from Atlanta.

Also read | Sex addiction, not racial hatred, may have driven suspect in Georgia spa shootings

"This could've been significantly worse," Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. "It's very likely there would've been more victims."

It was reported that Long was on his way to Florida, but the reports have not been confirmed yet.

Baker revealed that after the reporting of the first shooting, while the police officers were meeting with Long's parents, another call about a robbery at Gold's massage parlor was received. Upon arrival, the police officers found four people killed at two spas. 

Also read | Violence against Asian Americans 'very troublesome', says Biden after Atlanta shootings

The police officers also had to engage in a short chase with Long while he tried to flee to the South.

In addition to this, a 35-year-old former roommate of Long, Tyler Bayless, said the shooter told him of an addiction that compelled him to visit massage parlours seeking sex.

"In the halfway house he would describe several of his sexual addiction 'relapses' as he called them. He would have a deep feeling of remorse and shame and say he needed to return to prayer and to return to God," he said, describing Long as a "deeply religious" man.

Long has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault in connection to the three attacks

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