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Atlanta shooting suspect sentenced to life in prison

Robert Aaron Long pleaded guilty to killing four people at the Youngs Asian Massage parlor in Cherokee County.

Robert Aaron Long Crisp County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

Robert Aaron Long, the man behind the shooting sprees at various Atlanta spas, took a plea deal and has learned the punishment for his actions. As multiple news outlets reported, the shooting suspect pleaded guilty to killing four people in the fatal gunfire. In exchange for his guilty plea, the death penalty prosecutors initially sought was reduced to four consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole and an additional 35 years.

On the afternoon of March 16, Long made his way to the Youngs Asian Massage parlor in Cherokee County where he fatally shot Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Yaun and Paul Michels.

He then drove to Atlanta, continuing his attacks of three women at Gold Spa and another woman at Aromatherapy Spa. Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant and Yong Ae Yue — who were all women of Asian descent — died in the mass shootings.

Upon his arrest, Long denied allegations that his acts were racially motivated and admitted that he fired his gun as the massage parlors were places that triggered his sex addiction. He doubled down on those statements as he pled guilty to malice murder, felony murder, attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault, noting he wanted to punish the people who fed his addiction. He was not charged with any hate crimes for his actions.

Though Long escaped the death penalty in the Cherokee County shootings, the suspect still faces a death sentence as well as charges of domestic terrorism, murder, felony murder and aggravated assault in connection with the deaths of Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant and Yong Ae Yue, who were all killed in the Atlanta shootings.

He is scheduled to appear in a Fulton County court next month. District Attorney Fani Willis said that she intends to seek a hate crime sentence enhancement and a death penalty against him, but may possibly consider a plea bargain.

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