Atlanta shooting suspect Robert Aaron Long was having a “really bad day” when he fatally shot eight people, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department captain said on Wednesday (March 17).
“He was kind of at the end of his rope,” Capt. Jay Baker said during a press conference. “Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”
Long is accused of opening fire on three spas in Atlanta and Acworth, Georgia last night (March 16). The shootings left eight people dead, six of whom are Asian women.
During the conference, Baker added that Long admitted to the shootings, but denied they were racially motivated.
“The suspect did take responsibility for the shootings,” the captain said. “He does claim that it was not racially motivated. He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as... a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”
On Twitter, hundreds reacted to Capt. Baker’s comments.
“‘Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did’ — a law enforcement official explains Robert Aaron Long’s decision to kill [eight] people in a strange manner,” one person tweeted.
“It’s insane to me that the sheriff just casually says, ‘He was fed up, at the end of his rope... yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did’ about the killer,” another person wrote.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Long purchased a gun from a Cherokee County gun shop on Tuesday before the shootings. A 9mm firearm was recovered by police when he was arrested in Crisp County that evening. The suspect was identified driving south on the freeway, but was caught by police. Long later told investigators he was on his way to Florida to commit “more acts.”
According to the sheriff’s office, Long is being held in Cherokee County on four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. See a video from the press conference below.