What we know so far about the victims who have been publicly identified in the wake of Tuesday’s shooting rampage at three Atlanta-area massage spas.
The shooting rampage that unfolded at three Atlanta-area massage parlours on Tuesday left eight families mourning their loved ones and fanned fears in the Asian-American community of racially motivated violence.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been charged with murder in the killings.
Police are still investigating, and questions remain about the killer’s motive as details gradually become available. Seven of the slain were women, and six of them were of Asian descent. Here’s what we know about the victims so far.
Delaina Ashley Yaun
Yaun, a 33-year-old mother of two, had gone to have a massage at Youngs Asian Massage — the site where the violence started on Tuesday — along with her husband.
Yaun’s relatives told local news outlets that she and her husband were first-time customers on a date when the shooting began.
“They’re innocent. They did nothing wrong,” Yaun’s weeping mother, Margaret Rushing, told WAGA-TV. “I just don’t understand why he took my daughter.”
Yaun’s sibling, Dana Toole, said Yaun’s husband locked himself in a room and wasn’t injured.
“He’s taking it hard,” Toole said. “He was there. He heard the gunshots and everything. You can’t escape that when you’re in a room and gunshots are flying — what do you do?”
Tan owned Youngs Asian Massage. She came to the U.S. from China more than a decade ago.
Her daughter, Jami Webb, told USA Today that her mother tirelessly supported her family.
“She did everything for me and for the family,” Webb said. “She provided everything. She worked every day, 12 hours a day so that me and our family would have a better life.”
Tan would have turned 50 later in the week.
Michels, 54, also died in the violence at Youngs. USA Today has reported he was originally from Detroit but had been living in Atlanta for more than 20 years.
His brother, John Michels, told the newspaper that he and Paul had each served in the U.S. army.
He said it appeared his brother was “just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Paul owned a business installing security systems, a trade he learned after moving to the Atlanta area.
He’d been talking about switching to a new line of work but never got the chance.
Hyun Jung Grant
Grant, 51, who family identified by her maiden name, Hyun Jung Kim, loved disco and club music, often strutting or moonwalking while doing household chores and jamming with her sons to tunes blasting over the car stereo, according to The Associated Press.
The single mother found ways to enjoy herself despite working “almost every day” to support two sons, said the older son, 22-year-old Randy Park.
“I learned how to moonwalk because, like, I saw her moonwalking while vacuuming when I was a kid,” Park said.
On Tuesday night, Park was at home playing video games when he heard a gunman had opened fire at the Atlanta massage business where his mother worked. He rushed to the scene and then to a police station to find out more information. But it was through word of mouth that he learned his mother was dead.
The situation has been harrowing for Park, who said he has not been able to claim his mother’s body from the medical examiner’s office because of a complication with her last name, which is legally Grant. Park said that name is from a marriage he does not recall, and he can’t find papers showing a separation to prove that he is the next of kin.
It wasn’t immediately clear which of the Atlanta businesses employed Grant.
Her job was a sensitive subject, Park said, noting the stigma often associated with massage businesses. She told her sons that they should tell others she worked doing makeup with her friends.
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Ultimately, Park said, he didn’t care what she did for work.
“She loved me and my brother enough to work for us, to dedicate her whole life,” he said. “That’s enough.”
Yong Ae Yue
A Friday report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the 63-year-old Yue was a licensed massage therapist who had been laid off during the pandemic. Her sons said their mother was excited to be working again.
“My mother didn’t do anything wrong,” Robert Peterson told the Journal-Constitution. “And she deserves the recognition that she is a human, she’s a community person like everyone else. None of those people deserved what happened to them.”
Police identified a fourth person, who died in the shooting at Youngs, as 44-year-old Daoyou Feng. The New York Times reports that Feng worked for Tan.
The other victims, identified publicly on Friday by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office, are Soon Chung Park, 74, and Suncha Kim, 69.
One person was wounded and remains in hospital, according to USA Today.
WATCH | Asian-American community calls attacks a hate crime:
Christopher Chan of the Asian American Fund’s Georgia Chapter says some members of the Asian American community say the Atlanta-area attacks were ‘racially motivated,’ and the suspect should be prosecuted under the state’s hate crime law