These Are The Victims Of The Tragic Atlanta Spa Shootings
All eight names have been released in the tragic Atlanta-area spa shootings
On Tuesday, eight people tragically lost their lives as a result of anti-Asian violence. Seven were women, six of whom were Asian. They were killed by a shooter who attacked three Atlanta-area spas. And now, all of the victim’s names have been released.
In the first shooting at Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth, Georgia, four people died and one person was injured, according to Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office officials. The other four victims, all of whom are Asian women and specifically of Korean descent, were shot and killed at two spas across the street from each other.
The victims of the Atlanta-area spa shootings are identified as the following:
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33
Yaun is the mother of two children, 13-year-old Mayson and 8-month-old Mia. Yaun worked at the Waffle House a few stores down from Tan’s massage spa, and she would feed the homeless and offer them showers and clean clothes.
“You don’t find people like that,” John Beck, Yaun’s manager of three years, told BuzzFeed News. “Her heart was so big. She loved people and she loved her children, she was a very, very special person to me.”
A GoFundMe was set up for Yaun and her family.
Xiaojie Tan, 49
Tan, an entrepreneur, was the owner of Young’s Asian Massage and the registered owner of several small businesses. According to The Cut, Tan’s daughter recently graduated from the University of Georgia.
“She was the sweetest person you’d ever meet,” Hynson told USA Today. “My heart was in my throat the second I heard of it. It still doesn’t seem real.”
Daoyou Feng, 44
Feng died at Young’s Asian Massage and reportedly only recently started working at the spa.
Paul Andre Michels, 54
Michels was an Army veteran, his brother John Michels told the Daily Beast. And according to Fred Michels, his other brother, the family is in complete shock after Paul’s death.
“I’m mad, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” Kikiana Whidby told CBS 46 of Paul, the godfather to her son.
Soon Chung Park, 74
The Korea Times Atlanta reports that Park was a Gold Spa employee.
Hyun Jung Grant, 51
According to the New York Times, Hyun Jung Grant was an employee at Gold Spa and a single mother of two boys in their 20s.
Grant’s older son, Randy Park, launched a GoFundMe two days ago to raise money for his and his brother’s living expenses, and they’ve, so far, received more than $2 million in donations.
“She was a single mother who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I,” Randy wrote. “She was one of my best friends and strongest influence on who we are today.”
Suncha Kim, 69
No information about Suncha Kim has been released yet.
Yong A. Yue, 63
Yue was a licensed massaged therapist, AJC reports.
“My mother didn’t do anything wrong,” said her son, Robert Peterson, “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.”
Only one person survived the attack, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, who is reportedly in stable condition after being shot in the forehead, lungs and stomach.
A GoFundMe was set up to help cover Hernandez-Ortiz’s medical bills. So far, the fundraiser has raised $37,000.
The suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was charged with murder over the killing of eight people.
Long currently faces multiple counts of murder as well as aggravated assault. Officials have yet to confirm if the attack was racially motivated.
“He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” said Capt. Jay Baker. Baker not only added that Long was carrying a 9mm handgun, but he also said that the day of the shootings was “a really bad day for [Long] and this is what he did.” Baker has since come under fire for his comments that seem to excuse the severity of Long’s crime — and rightly so.
The shootings follow an alarming spike in anti-Asian hate incidents over the past year.
According to nonprofit coalition Stop AAPI Hate, 3,795 incidents were reported across the country between March 2020 and February of this year — up nearly 150 percent over 2019.
Red Canary Song, a grassroots collective of Asian sex workers, released a statement today calling for rights and protections for spa workers.
“We see the effort to invisibilize these women’s gender, labor, class, and immigration status as a refusal to reckon with the legacy of United States imperialism, and as a desire to collapse the identities of migrant Asian women, sex workers, massage workers, and trafficking survivors,” they wrote.
“The women who were killed faced specific racialized gendered violence for being Asian women and massage workers,” they continue. “Whether or not they were actually sex workers or self-identified under that label, we know that as massage workers, they were subjected to sexualized violence stemming from the hatred of sex workers, Asian women, working class people, and immigrants.”
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on March 18 with the names of six of the eight victims. It was updated on March 20 to include all eight names.
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