The suspect in the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas entered Young’s Asian Massage more than an hour before gunfire was reported at the business, the beginning of a rampage that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women, surveillance video obtained by The Washington Post shows.

The video shows that Robert Aaron Long first spent an hour sitting in the parking lot outside the shop. He then entered and 1 hours and 12 minutes elapsed before he was seen leaving the establishment and getting into his car. Several minutes later, people appear in the parking lot and police arrive. The length of time that Long spent inside Young’s was previously unknown. It’s unclear what he was doing for the hour after he was seen entering the spa and before the shooting began.

Through visual analysis of the surveillance video, The Post determined that the man seen in the footage is Long, as the images match photos of the suspect released by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. During the 1 hour and 12 minutes after Long entered the building, the video shows cars driving up, and people coming and going. The video does not appear to be manipulated.

The timing of Long’s departure in the footage came four minutes ahead of the first reports of gunshots to 911, which came at 4:54 p.m., according to a 911 call log and the Cherokee Sheriff’s office. (The time codes that appear in the upper left corner of the surveillance video are four hours off. Four hours is also the time difference between Eastern and Coordinated Universal Time or UTC.) At the time of those reports, a separate video obtained by The Post, shot by Marcus Lyon, a 31-year-old customer of the business, shows several victims laying motionless on the ground in front of the shop.

When asked about the surveillance video, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office declined to provide details to The Post about when Long was shown to have entered Young’s and what is known about what preceded the shooting.

“We are unable to give out that information,” an official told The Post, before being directed to Capt. Jay Baker, the spokesman for the sheriff’s office. Baker, who is no longer the spokesman for the case after he was widely criticized for saying the shooting suspect was having “a really bad day,” did not immediately return a request for comment.

Police arrived at the scene Tuesday at a time when Young’s regularly had more customers, according to business metrics tracked by Google.

Authorities have so far released only limited details about Long’s movements on the day of the shooting. Some details have emerged, including from an attorney for a store in Canton, Ga., who confirmed that Long bought a 9mm pistol there the same day.

Multiple messages left for Young’s were not immediately returned.

Lyon, a delivery driver in Kennesaw, Ga., who was at Young’s for the first time, said nothing felt out of the ordinary when he arrived around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday. He said that while he didn’t notice Long in the spa, the trauma of what happened has left him wondering if he just didn’t see him.

“I keep replaying it in my mind these last couple days,” he said. “I didn’t think this could happen. It’s crazy.”


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