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A Georgia spa owner who friends described as the “most kind-hearted” was among the eight victims killed in the carnage at three Atlanta-area massage parlors.
Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49, was gunned down Tuesday evening along with four others at her salon, Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth, news station WSBTV reported.
Friends said Tan was a mother to a recent University of Georgia graduate and described her as the “sweetest, most kind-hearted, giving” woman.
She was the type of person who “never met a stranger,” they told the outlet.
Tan was a licensed massage therapist, according to state records.
Her salon was the first struck in a shooting spree that started around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, allegedly opened fire on five people there, killing four of them, authorities said.
He then traveled to the Atlanta suburb of Buckhead, where he killed four women at two separate salons, police said.
Officers later tracked him down in Crisp County apparently on his way to Florida to potentially attack “some type of porn industry,” authorities said.
“He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places, and it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” Cherokee County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker told reporters.
The rampage — which left six Asian women dead including Tan — coincided with a wave of hate crimes against the Asian American community that began with the spread of coronavirus in the US.
Police said that Long had not indicated that slayings were racially motivated, but that it was too early in the investigation to rule out the possibility.
With Post wires
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