Spa witness, police reports detail carnage in Atlanta
When he heard the first two gunshots, Marcus Lyon dove behind the bed where moments earlier the massage therapist had been rubbing his neck.
AdvertisementAdvertisement“I’m thinking in my head, ‘I’m about to die. I’m gonna die,’” he recalled."I started thinking about my son.”Lyon waited in the room, less than a minute, he figures, until he heard the sound of bells signalling someone had opened the front door at Youngs Asian Massage. Hearing no more gunfire, he hurried back into his clothes and ran outside, grabbed a gun from his vehicle and made the first 911 call. Dispatchers took the call at 4.54pm.
“I wasn’t scared in the moment because it was kind of too late to be scared,” Lyon said in an interview."I couldn’t believe it was happening.”Lyon's eyewitness account and police reports released on Tuesday reveal a closer look at. After killing four people and critically wounding another at the massage business in suburban Cherokee County, the lone gunman drove to neighbouring Atlanta and opened fire inside two other spas, police say.
AdvertisementAdvertisementEight people died altogether seven of them women and six victims of Asian descent. All were slain within about an hour.READ: UN chief concerned by rise in anti-Asian violenceSecurity camera footage shows the young man sat in the shopping centre parking lot for an hour before getting out of the SUV. His right hand in his back pocket, he walked into Youngs Asian Massage through the front door. headtopics.com
Police say the man captured on the security camera video was 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long. The footage shows he entered the spa more than an hour before the shooting started. Police haven't said what he was doing the rest of the time.Advertisement
Rita Barron told deputies she heard screams and loud thumps coming from Youngs Asian Massage. Coats fell from the wall inside Barron's boutique next door.She found a small, metal object on the floor, possibly a bullet. She and her husband called 911.
According to an incident report, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Corporal Tommy Thompkins was patrolling nearby and rushed to the spa after hearing over his radio that there had been a shooting with multiple victims. He found Lyon, unharmed, holding the door open.
Other deputies arrived and swept the business, opening doors one at a time as they crept down a long hallway. Two women were lying partially in the doorways of separate rooms on the left side of the hall, both with gunshot wounds to the head but still breathing. Peering into a room on the right, officers saw a dead woman slumped against the back wall. headtopics.com
In a back room, deputies found a dead man who had been shot in the head.Behind another closed door, deputies found Mario Gonzalez sitting on a bed. He looked scared and confused, but obeyed as deputies with guns drawn ordered him outside.A massage parlor is seen where a multiple fatal shooting occurred on Mar 17, 2021, in Acworth, Georgia. (Photo: AP/Mike Stewart)
Detained in the back of a patrol car, Gonzalez told deputies he didn't see the shooter. He and his wife were nearing the end of hourlong massages, in separate rooms, when the shooting began. He said he didn't know what happened to her.Gonzalez's wife, Delaina Ashley Yaun, was among those found dead.
After the shootings at Youngs, the man police have identified as Long walked briskly to his vehicle, backed out of a parking space and headed south. The killing was just beginning.A half-hour after being called to the scene in Cherokee County, authorities had a description of the suspect from security video. The white man wore a gray and red jacket, and drove a black Hyundai SUV.
But before they could catch him, the shooting started again, this time in Atlanta, roughly 50 kilometres away.It was 5.47pm when a woman called 911 from Gold Spa, reporting what she thought was a robbery.“Hurry,” the caller urged the operator. “They have a gun.” headtopics.com
Ten minutes later, dispatchers received another 911 call from a business across the street. The caller said a man walked into Aromatherapy Spa and fired a gun, hurting at least one person.READ: Hundreds rally in Atlanta to support Asian American community after fatal shootings
Officers who arrived at Gold Spa found three women dead from gunshot wounds. Officers arriving at the second spa found one woman dead from a gunshot wound.Police were aided in their capture of the suspect by Long's parents, who called authorities offering to help after recognising their son in still images from the security video that the Cherokee County sheriff posted to social media.
Using cellphone information provided by the parents, authorities tracked the suspect to rural Crisp County about 225 kilometres south of Atlanta.State troopers and sheriff's deputies spotted his SUV on Interstate 75, and one of them forced Long to spin to a stop by bumping his vehicle.
Once stopped, Long surrendered without a fight. Read more: CNA »
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After Atlanta spa attacks, officers handcuffed victim’s anguished husband for 4 hoursGEORGIA — Mr Mario Gonzalez heard the gunfire from inside Young’s Asian Massage and immediately worried about his wife, who was in another room. But before he could check on her, he said, law enforcement officials handcuffed and detained him for about four hours while they worked to determine the identity of the gunman.
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