Eight people have been killed in shootings at massage parlours in and around Atlanta, Georgia.
A 21-year-old man suspected of carrying out all three shootings has been arrested.
The attacks began around 5pm local time, when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlour in a strip mall near a rural area in Acworth, about 30 miles north of Atlanta, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Captain Jay Baker said.
Two people died at the scene and three were taken to hospital where two more succumbed to their injuries. Captain Baker said two of the dead were Asian women, along with a white woman and a white man.
Around 50 minutes later, police called to reports of a robbery at the Gold Spa in the Buckhead neighbourhood of Atlanta found the bodies of three women.
While at the scene, they learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found a woman who appeared to have been shot dead inside the business.
Atlanta police’s Chief Rodney Bryant said all the victims of the two attacks in the city appeared to be Asian.
Surveillance cameras picked up the same vehicle at all three shootings.
Around two hours after the last attack, police in Crisp County, 150 miles (241km) south of Atlanta, were informed that the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, was heading in their direction.
Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said deputies and troopers set up along the interstate and “made contact with the suspect,” who was driving a 2007 black Hyundai Tucson, around 8:30pm.
A state trooper performed a PIT, or pursuit intervention technique, manoeuvre, “which caused the vehicle to spin out of control,” Hancock said. Long was then taken into custody “without incident” and was being held in the Crisp County jail.
The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.
In New York an NYPD spokesperson told Sky News they are deploying counterterrorism officers to Asian communities throughout the city out of an abundance of caution following the Atlanta shootings.
(c) Sky News 2021: Shootings at Atlanta Asian massage parlours leave eight dead