The charges facing accused Atlanta spa gunman Robert Aaron Long now include “malice murder” — a Georgia rap that alleges express or implied malice against the victims, according to a report.
Long – who has allegedly admitted to shooting up three massage parlors, killing eight people, including six Asian women – could face additional charges, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
He also faces aggravated assault charges.
Sheriff Frank Reynolds said that despite interest “across the country and around the world” in the case, his department would not comment further on the probe.
“Our main focus is investigating this heinous crime and ensuring all facts and evidence are gathered to present to the District Attorney of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit for prosecution,” Reynolds said in a statement.
Authorities have said they are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting, which has heightened fears among Asian Americans already rattled by a rise in hate crimes directed at the community.
Long allegedly blamed the rampage on his “sex addiction,” claiming he was trying to get rid of sources of temptation, authorities have said.
FBI Director Robert Wray has told NPR that race did not appear to be a factor.