Monster of the 'worst kind'

·7 min read

The suspect in a string of fatal shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors was indicted on murder charges. A former nursing assistant who murdered elderly patients at a Veterans Affairs hospital was sentenced. And for anyone living on the East Coast: Is your town out of gas?

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Suspect in Atlanta-area spa shootings indicted, set to face hate crime charges

In a move that advocates have been pushing for since the March slayings rattled the Asian American community, the suspect in a string of fatal shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors was indicted Tuesday on murder charges, and prosecutors signaled they will also seek hate crime charges. A Fulton County grand jury officially indicted Robert Aaron Long for the fatal shootings of four people killed at two spas in Atlanta: Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63. The indictment, which does not cover four others who were killed at another massage parlor in Cherokee County, charges Long with four counts of murder, four counts of felony murder, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and one count of domestic terrorism. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis also filed notice that she intends to seek the death penalty against Long, who is white.

After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby S., right, stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Youngs Asian Massage parlor where four people were killed, March 17, 2021, in Acworth, Ga.
After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby S., right, stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Youngs Asian Massage parlor where four people were killed, March 17, 2021, in Acworth, Ga.

VA hospital serial killer sentenced

The victims ranged in age from 81 to 96 and served in the Army, Navy and Air Force during World War II and wars in Korea and Vietnam. They died at the hands of the same person, at the same place, in the same way. Reta Mays, 46, who confessed to murdering seven elderly patients at a local VA hospital and attempting to murder an eighth, will now spend the rest of her life in prison. U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh called the former nursing assistant a monster of the "worst kind. You are the monster no one sees coming." During a hearing Tuesday, he delivered a life sentence for each murder victim, plus 20 years for an eighth victim she tried to kill.

A former nursing assistant, Reta, Mays, 46, pleaded guilty to murdering seven patients with insulin at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Clarksburg, W.Va. The string of deaths at the hospital included, clockwise from left, Air Force veteran George Nelson Shaw, 81; Army veteran
William "Sport" Holloway, 96; Army veteran Archie Dail Edgell, 84; Navy veteran John Hallman, 87; and Army veteran Felix Kirk McDermott, 82. Hallman was cremated; Mays did not plead guilty in his death.
A former nursing assistant, Reta, Mays, 46, pleaded guilty to murdering seven patients with insulin at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Clarksburg, W.Va. The string of deaths at the hospital included, clockwise from left, Air Force veteran George Nelson Shaw, 81; Army veteran William "Sport" Holloway, 96; Army veteran Archie Dail Edgell, 84; Navy veteran John Hallman, 87; and Army veteran Felix Kirk McDermott, 82. Hallman was cremated; Mays did not plead guilty in his death.

What everyone's talking about

Gas shortages loom on East Coast

Is fuel running out in some areas? Yes. Will gas prices spike? It's possible. But experts say don't make a mad dash to the gas station just yet, or else it could make the problem worse. A ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline — a key artery in the nation's energy infrastructure — is threatening to cause gas shortages and could affect prices if it continues longer than expected. Government officials are taking steps to protect Americans from gasoline price spikes and ensure that fuel can be shipped in other ways. To be sure, the Colonial Pipeline — which delivers about 45% of the fuel for the East Coast, including gasoline and jet fuel — says it's aiming to "substantially" restore service by the end of the week which would likely limit most of the fallout. But in the next few days, motorists could feel the effects at the fuel pump.

Family of Andrew Brown Jr. to view limited footage of fatal shooting

The family of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man who was killed by sheriff's deputies in North Carolina last month, will be shown limited footage of the fatal shooting on Tuesday — videos that haven't been made public despite outrage from the community, questions about the shooting and lawsuits demanding their release. The footage, which will not be released to the public, is being shown to the family by the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office after a court order. The ruling by North Carolina Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster specifies which portions of the footage Brown's family can view and limits them to see fewer than 20 minutes of the more than two hours of video taken before and after Brown's death.

Real quick

3 men who chased, killed Ahmaud Arbery plead not guilty

More than a year after the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, the three Georgia men accused in the crime appeared before a federal judge Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to hate crime charges. Greg McMichael, a 65-year-old former police officer, his son, Travis McMichael, 35, and William "Roddie" Bryan, 51, a neighbor, are charged with violating Arbery's civil rights and attempted kidnapping. The father and son were also charged with using firearms during the commission of a crime. Arbery was shot and killed while running near his home in Brunswick, Georgia, on Feb. 23, 2020. After the hearing, members of Arbery's family thanked their supporters and the federal government outside the courthouse. "This is a very emotional day for the family," family attorney Lee Merritt told reporters. "This is the first time that they've shared a courtroom with these three murderers."

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: VA serial killer sentenced, Colonial Pipeline fuel shortages, Ahmaud Arbery suspects plead not guilty: It's Tuesday's news