Mr. Long said he left the house “embarrassed and ashamed,” and intending to commit suicide.
He bought a 9-millimeter handgun and a bottle of Four Roses bourbon. At first he planned to go to Young’s Asian Massage, a strip-mall business in Cherokee County, northwest of Atlanta, to pay for sex and then kill himself, Ms. Wallace said. But as he sat for an hour in the parking lot, drinking and growing more drunk, his plan changed: He decided, Ms. Wallace said, to commit “vigilante justice” against the sex industry.
Mr. Long said he had been to Young’s multiple times in the past. That day, he said, he went into the spa, gave his money to a woman behind a desk and was led to a room, where a young woman performed a sexual act on him. Afterward, he put on his clothes and went to a bathroom in the back of the parlor. Then he came out and began shooting.
He wounded Mr. Hernandez Ortiz and killed four people: Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Paul Andre Michels, 54; and Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33.
The gunman then drove to the heart of Atlanta where he fatally shot four women of South Korean descent at two other spas: Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; and Hyun Jung Grant, 51.
After the shootings in Cherokee County, Ms. Wallace said, sheriff’s deputies released a photograph of Mr. Long to the news media, taken from security cameras near the spa. Mr. Long’s parents, she said, saw the photo and contacted the sheriff’s department. They had been following Mr. Long’s movements with a tracking app called “Find My Kid,” and law enforcement used it to locate Mr. Long as he fled south.
He was captured while driving in an S.U.V. on Interstate 75, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, and taken into custody.