Georgia police were able to capture the man accused of killing 8 people in the Atlanta area Tuesday afternoon after the 21-year-old’s parents informed them that he might be the shooter, according to reports.
Authorities were able to track Robert Aaron Long’s phone and catch up to him shortly after the shooting spree. He is accused of fatally shooting 7 women and 1 man in three separate shootings at massage businesses in and around Atlanta around 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.
He was taken into custody less than 4 hours later in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said after the department posted surveillance video from the crime scenes on their social media accounts “we were contacted by members of the family indicating that that may be their son,” WXIA-TV in Atlanta and The New York Times reported.
The first shooting, in which 4 people died, took place at a massage parlor in Acworth in Cherokee County. The other two shootings, where another 4 people died, were in Atlanta.
Reynolds said Long’s family helped police catch him swiftly.
“We met with them and I was there speaking with the family,” he said, according to WXIA. “They’re very distraught and they were very helpful in this apprehension. We were able to track his phone.”
Long told police he was driving to Florida to potentially shoot up a business connected to the porn industry, police said.
He claimed he committed the shootings because he has a “sex addiction” and wanted to eliminate his temtation.
Authorities are also considering if the crimes may have been racially motivated – despite the suspect’s denials – because six of the victims were Asian women.