A more clean-cut Robert Aaron Long spoke about his baptism in a church video taken years before his alleged deadly rampage at three Atlanta area spas.
Long, 21, was seen with a trimmed beard, glasses and wearing a button-down in a 2018 video on the Crabapple First Baptist Church’s Facebook page.
In the since-deleted clip, Long recalled how when he was in seventh grade, a speaker at a youth group told the biblical story of the prodigal son, the Daily Beast reported.
“The son goes off and squanders all that he has and lives completely for himself and then, when he finds he’s wanting to eat pig food, he realized there’s something wrong and he goes back to his father and his father runs back to him and embraces him,” Long said, the outlet reported.
“And by the grace of God I was able to draw the connection there and realize this is a story between what happened with me and God. I ran away living completely for myself, and he still wants me, and so that’s when I was saved.”
His appearance was a far cry from the mugshot released Tuesday of Long with an unkempt beard, half of his hair buzzed short and topless beside a green Velcro vest.
Long was arrested in connection to the shooting spree that killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three separate massage parlors in Acworth and Buckhead.
Officials said Wednesday that Long may have visited some of the locations before and potentially had a “sexual addiction.”
“We believe that he frequented these places in the past and maybe have been lashing out,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds.
Reynolds said he gave no indication that the crimes were racially motivated, but that authorities were not ruling out the possibility at this point in the investigation.
The violence comes amid a wave of attacks against Asian Americans since the start of the spread of coronavirus.
With Post wires