Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez and her under-one-year-old husband wanted the night for themselves away from their children on Tuesday.
To mark the special occasion, the newlyweds visited Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County, 33-year-old younger sister Dana Toole told The Daily Beast.
“She was supposed to have a good time with her husband,” Toole said, noting that her sister was the mother of a 14-year-old son and an 8-month-old daughter.
But the romantic getaway took a tragic turn after Robert Long, 21, entered the Asian massage parlor, fatally shooting Yaun and three other people, before attacking two more massage parlors in a rampage that he blamed it on his sex addiction issues.
“Hurry … we are in hiding right now … they have a gun,” said a woman inside the Gold Massage Spa, the second salon hit in the shooting, during a 911 call issued Wednesday by the Atlanta Police Department. “I’m hiding right now.”
“Please come on, okay?” she pleaded.
On a second call, a woman said she heard “a guy walked into the ‘Aroma Therapy Spa’ and a lady passed out on the doorstep. Everyone is afraid, so everyone is hiding.
“[Yaun’s daughter] isn’t even going to know her mom, ”Toole, 29, told The Daily Beast, adding that she thought it was the couple’s first time at the massage parlor. “How do you explain that?”
Yaun, described as outgoing and family oriented, is one of four victims identified to date. Authorities say after Long killed four people inside Young’s Asian Massage – and injured a fifth who is in critical condition at a local hospital – he went to two more salons and killed four more. people.
“We believe he has frequented these places in the past and may have attacked,” Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said at a press conference Wednesday.
He was eventually caught on a freeway two hours south of Atlanta after a police chase. His family helped the police find him. He admitted to police that he was going to a pornography-related location in Florida, authorities said, adding that it was “very likely that there would have been more victims.”
The other victims of the incident at the Young Salon have been identified as Daoyou Feng, 44; Paul Andre Michels, a 54-year-old business owner married for over two decades; and Xiaojie Tan, a 49-year-old woman who appeared to own at least two massage parlors in Atlanta. Business records indicate that one of Tan’s businesses is Young.
The identities of the three people found dead at the Gold Massage Spa in Atlanta and the person found dead at the Aroma Therapy Spa across the street have yet to be released.
As the shootings come amid a wave of anti-Asian violence in the United States, authorities say Long insisted he was not intentionally shooting people of Asian descent – although police said the investigation was ongoing and the killings could still be characterized as hate. criminality.
The fact that the gunman targeted Asian massage parlors and killed half a dozen Asian women sparked an outcry online and among community leaders. Nearly 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate incidents were reported between March 2020 and last month, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition documenting discrimination during the pandemic.
“As we wait for more details to emerge, I ask everyone to remember that hurtful words and rhetoric have real consequences. Please stand up, condemn this violence and help us #StopAsianHateRep. Judy Chu (D-CA), who chairs the US Congressional Caucus for Asia and the Pacific, wrote on Twitter after the event.
Michels, who was killed at Young’s Asian Massage, has been described by family members as an army veteran who owned an electricity company and was a “staunch Republican”.
“He was a gun owner. He was baptized Roman Catholic, ”John Michels, his 52-year-old brother, who lives in Michigan, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. He added that his brother wanted to “get into the massage business” and was looking to own establishments.
“Before I say anything, I would like the police to investigate first,” said John Michels, stressing his support for due process and Second Amendment rights. “As a veteran, I protected these rights for him. My brother was a veteran of the US Army Infantry. He served in Germany and at Fort Knox. He was in West Germany and Fort Knox, Kentucky. He served from 1985 to 1989.
Michels’ sister, Ann Thornsberry, told the Daily Beast that although they were not a “tight-knit family,” her brother owned an electrician business and had been married for over 20 years.
Tan also appeared to be a diligent business owner, who was on the “Company Agent” list for at least two massage parlors in Atlanta. In addition to Young, Tan has been promoting a separate massage establishment, Wang’s Feet, and Body Massage, on her Facebook, and public records list her as the company’s agent. A man who answered the company’s phone, who identified himself as Mr. Wang, told the Daily Beast “at this time, I can’t talk about this problem” before hanging up.
A family member of Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, the Hispanic from Acworth who survived the shooting at Young’s house on Tuesday, told the Daily Beast the 30-year-old remained in critical condition.
“We are only praying for him and hoping he will be okay. He’s the nicest man, ”the family member, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said on Wednesday.
In an interview with The New York TimesHernandez-Ortiz’s wife said he was steps from a currency exchange business next to Young’s Asian massage parlor when he met Long. The mechanic, who left Guatemala more than ten years ago, immediately called his wife after being shot.
“I was shot!” Hernandez-Ortiz told his wife, Flor Gonzalez, over the phone. “Please come.”
After that horrific call, the 30-year-old choked on him and the call was dropped, Gonzalez said. It was only after midnight that Gonzalez was able to see her husband after the operation on Tuesday night at a local hospital. She said Hernandez-Ortiz suffered injuries to his throat, lungs, forehead and stomach.
“He’s still alive, he’s fighting for his life,” Gonzalez told the Times, adding that her husband is a “devoted, very loving father”. “But the doctors told me he would recover long after he left the hospital.”
Dana Toole added to the Daily Beast that her family first learned of Yuan’s death after their third sister, who worked in front of the spa, saw the 33-year-old truck in photos of the scene.
“We had no idea she was there until they saw her truck,” Toole says. “We waited four hours to find out what had happened.”
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