Accused Atlanta shooter now faces malice murder charges

Accused Atlanta shooter now faces malice murder charges
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The man who has admitted to carrying out last week's attacks at three Atlanta-area massage parlors, killing eight people including six Asian women, now faces charges including malice murder and aggravated assault.

Reuters reported on Monday that a statement from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office indicated that Robert Aaron Long could still face further charges.

Malice murder is a Georgia charge that alleges express or implied malice against the victims, according to Reuters.

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Long claimed to police after the attack that his motivation was frustration over sexual temptation from the massage parlor employees, though family members of the mostly Asian American victims of the attacks have cast doubt on that claim.

Long was initially charged with four counts of murder for the actions at one of the three locations he admitted to targeting; prosecutors in Atlanta have yet to introduce official charges for the crimes that occurred at the two locations within city limits.

Authorities haven't announced an official motive for the attacks, and several federal officials told NBC News that they have yet to discover sufficient evidence for a hate crime case, the network reported Sunday.

The attacks come amid a rising trend of hate-based attacks against Asian Americans, particularly the elderly, across the country.

A spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office faced criticism after Long's arrest for declaring at a press conference that the perpetrator had "a really bad day," leading to the attack.

“He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did,” Capt. Jay Baker told reporters last Tuesday.