At least one gunman killed seven people at Atlanta-area massage parlors Tuesday and police say they are looking into whether the killings are linked and why the businesses may have been targeted.
Hours after the attacks, a 21-year-old man was captured in southwest Georgia. Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, was taken into custody in Crisp County on Tuesday night, about 150 miles south of Atlanta.
The Atlanta Police Department responded to calls of a robbery in progress shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sergeant John Chafee said in an emailed statement to USA TODAY. Police found three women dead when they arrived at the scene.
While police were at the first scene, they received calls regarding shots fired across the street, Chafee said. They responded and found another woman who had been fatally shot inside a massage parlor.
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said at least three of the victims were female and “It appears that they may be Asian.”
Roughly 45 miles north of Atlanta in Cherokee County, three people were killed and two were injured in shooting at another massage parlor. The Cherokee Sheriff's Office released a photo of a suspect on Facebook Tuesday evening.
"Having these two shootings occur at massage parlors and with knowledge of Cherokee County's shootings, Zone 2 commanders quickly dispatched officers to check nearby similar businesses and patrols have been increased in those areas," Chafee said.
Police have not said if the shootings are related.
"Many have asked whether these shootings are related to Cherokee County's shootings," Chafee said. "At the moment, it is too early to confirm that, but we have spoken with Cherokee County officials and we are looking into that possibility."
Contributing: The Associated Press.