Inside the mind of an alleged killer: Psychologists analyze motive behind deadly spa shootings

ATLANTA — Memorials continue to grow outside the Asian-owned spas across the Atlanta metro that a gunman targeted on Tuesday, shooting and killing 8 people and wounding another.

Atlanta police said they have not ruled anything out while trying to find the motive of the shooter as experts try and understand the sex addiction motive released by authorities.

Authorities say Robert Long, 21, confessed to the killings to “eliminate the temptation” of his sex addiction.

We know he and his family were active in their church.

What’s unclear is what else played a role in his alleged decision to kill eight people and injure another in two counties.

“Sex addiction does not at all explain why you would murder someone,” said Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, a licensed professional counselor and sex therapist.

She said the rationale Long allegedly gave authorities sounds incomplete.


“Committing murder does not necessarily eliminate the temptation that one might suffer from with sex addiction. Those temptations, those urges, those compulsions will still be there,” Henry said.

Delania Yaun, 31, leaves behind a husband and two children according to a GoFundMe page to support her family.

The other victims in Cherokee County are Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.

Four other Asian women died in Atlanta but have not been identified.

Elcias Hernandez Ortiz survived the Cherokee County shooting but remains in serious condition.

“I pray that my uncle is going to be recovering from this as well as my aunt because she’s devastated right now,” said Adriana Meijia, Ortiz’s niece.

Sex addiction can be tricky to diagnose, but clinical psychologist Dr. Norman Fried said it’s possible that Long felt overwhelmed.

“It’s an awful explanation of why he did what he did. But he may, indeed, be filled with a compulsion that he cannot stop,” Fried said.

There is growing pressure from around the country to charge Long with a hate crime.

Atlanta police said they are taking a hard look at the shooter’s motives and have not ruled anything out.

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