State Patrol: Spa shootings suspect surrendered within 30 seconds

Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, was arrested in Crisp County and charged with murder in the case of three separate shootings that left eight people dead.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, was arrested in Crisp County and charged with murder in the case of three separate shootings that left eight people dead.

Credit: Crisp County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Crisp County Sheriff's Office

Troopers with the Georgia State Patrol spotted spa shootings suspect Robert Aaron Long’s SUV on I-75 and moved quickly to stop him, according to an incident report detailing last week’s arrest.

“Due to the severity and violent crimes the suspect just committed by taking the lives of eight people, I knew it was imperative to stop this vehicle as soon as possible,” one trooper wrote in the report. “I did not want a vehicle pursuit to begin where the subject could intentionally harm anyone or get away.”

Long, 21, was arrested in Crisp County last Tuesday, about two hours after a third deadly shooting at metro Atlanta spas, according to police. Long is accused of killing four people at a Cherokee County business, then four others at two spas in Atlanta before heading south on I-75. Investigators tracked his whereabouts through his cellphone, police have said.

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By the time Long arrived in Crisp, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, troopers and deputies were waiting. His black Hyundai Tucson was spotted, the tag number matched a “be on the lookout” alert, and Long matched the description of the suspect, according to the State Patrol.

A trooper performed a PIT maneuver, or precision immobilization technique, that caused Long’s SUV to spin clockwise and then counter-clockwise.

“To ensure the violator did not recover from the PIT, I used the front of my patrol car to contact the left side of the vehicle when it came back into my path of travel,” the report states. “This successfully disabled the vehicle.”

Troopers drew their weapons while one approached Long, giving him commands to show his hands.

Members of the Atlanta Korean-American Committee against Asian Hate Crimes hold a vigil for the victims of the spa shootings outside of the Gold Spa in Atlanta on Friday.
Members of the Atlanta Korean-American Committee against Asian Hate Crimes hold a vigil for the victims of the spa shootings outside of the Gold Spa in Atlanta on Friday.

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

“The driver, later identified as Mr. Robert Aaron Long, sat motionless for approximately 30 seconds,” the State Patrol wrote in the report. “After continuous commands to show his hands, Mr. Long raised his hands. I then gave Mr. Long commands to exit his vehicle, which he did. Once out of the vehicle, I gave Mr. Long commands to raise his hands and lay on the ground, which he did.”

At the time of his arrest, police found a loaded handgun in one of Long’s pockets and a knife in the other, according to the State Patrol.

Long was arrested without incident and taken to the Crisp jail. Later that night, he was transferred to the Cherokee jail, where he remained Monday.

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