Son of Atlanta Shooting Victim Calls Accused Shooter's 'Sex Addiction' Claim 'Bull****'
Police have also come under fire for describing the shooter, Robert Long, as having had a "bad day" before they say he embarked on a killing spree, according to what Long told police.
The son of one of the shooting victims in Atlanta called “bulls***” on a claim made by law enforcement that accused shooter Robert Long said when he shot and killed eight people, six whom were Asian, he was not motivated by race, but sex addiction.
Randy Park, 23, is the son of Hyun Jung Grant, one of the victims killed at Gold Spa in Atlanta. Long is accused of killing four Asian women at Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth, Georgia, before committing two more shootings an hour later at two different locations, Gold Spa and AromaTherapy Spa, where he killed four more people. He’s now charged with eight counts of murder.
Long told authorities that he has a “sexual addiction” and that he had carried out shooting at the massage parlors to eliminate his temptation, according to authorities.
“That’s bull****,” Park told The Daily Beast.
“My question to the family is, 'what did y’all teach him?'” Park added. “Did you turn him in because you’re scared that you’ll be affiliated with him? You just gonna scapegoat your son out? And they just get away scot free? Like, no, you guys definitely taught him some s***. Take some f****** responsibility.”
Park’s statement comes after the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, which is handling the case, apologized for statements made by spokesman Capt. Jay Baker about Long and his alleged motives for the murders. Baker told the public that Long told authorities he’d committed the crime because he was “fed up, at the end of his rope," and that he had "had a bad day.”
The department has since issued a statement saying it regrets “any heartache” Baker’s statements caused. Cherokee County Sheriff's Office also said Baker’s comments were "construed as insensitive," but added that "they were not intended to disrespect any of the victims, the gravity of this tragedy, or express empathy or sympathy for the suspect.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, the organization Stop AAPI Hate has documented at least 3,795 crimes directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Long, a white male, claimed to authorities that he was not motivated by racial bias, according to police.
“When was the last time that you saw law enforcement take the word of the accused killer and turn around and tell you, ‘He said it wasn't a hate crime, so I guess that's not a hate crime,’” Chris Kwok, a board member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, told Voice of America.
Park said he was playing video games when he got the news about the death of his mother and that the pair were “very close.” She was a single mother who’d worked hard to raise her two sons. He never thought something like this would happen to him, and told The Daily Beast he had not previously experienced anything outside the occasional racial slurs he encountered online.
“You see this stuff in TV shows and movies,” Park said. “It’s surreal. But I have a younger brother that I have to take care of now, so as much as I want to be sad and grieve — and I am super sad — I have no choice but to move on. To figure out the whole living situation for probably the next year with my brother.”
A GoFundMe started by Park has already raised nearly $600,000.
“Thank you everyone so much,” Park wrote on the page. “My mother can rest easy knowing I have the support of the world with me.”
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