On Tuesday night eight people, six of them Asian, were killed across three different massage parlor locations in the Atlanta area. The horrific shooting joins a series of attacks on Asian-Americans, and while police have evaded describing the shooting as hate crime, the perpetrator reportedly shouted “I’m going to kill all the Asians,” according to a Korean American news outlet.
Only four victims have been officially identified by the police, and The New York Times previously reported that officials with the Atlanta Police Department were refraining from releasing the names of other victims killed in the shooting until their family members were notified. On Friday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office identified four more victims as part of the Atlanta attacks as Hyun J. Grant, 51, Suncha Kim, 69, Soon C. Park, 74, and Yong A. Yue, 63.
This is what we know so far about the victims.
Xiaojie Tan, often known by friends as Emily, was described by friends and customers at her business Young’s Asian Massage as a “curious, hard-working and caring woman who was always filled with joy,” USA Today reported. Born in Nanning, China, the 49-year-old moved to America after marrying her ex-husband Michael Webb along with her now 29-year-old daughter Jami Webb. In 2010 she opened Young’s Asian Massage, her second business following a nail salon.
In an interview with USA Today, Tan’s daughter Jami described her mother’s dreams of traveling the world, constantly adding new destinations to a list of places she wanted to visit. “She did everything for me and for the family,” Jami said. “She provided everything. She worked every day, 12 hours a day, so that me and our family would have a better life.”
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, was described as an “outgoing, family-oriented person who would go out of her way to help others and often take in friends who were in need of a place to stay,” The Guardian reports. One friend described to the paper how Yaun, mother to a teenage boy and an eight-month-old daughter, took her and her boyfriend in to “her already full home” during the covid-19 pandemic. A relative of Yaun’s DeLayne Davis told The New York Times that she was “the rock for this family. “If any family needed anything, they went to her,” she said. “She doted on her kids.” Yaun was visiting Young’s Asian Massage for a date night with her husband who survived the shooting.
Daoyou Feng, 44, was a new employee at Tan’s Young’s Asian Massage, having just started working at the spa in the past few months, the New York Times reports.
Paul Andre Michels’s younger brother John said he was “a good, hard-working man who would do what he could do to help people,” the Associated Press reports. Michels, 54, was an army veteran who served in the 1980s and later owned a business installing security systems, the BBC reports. His brother said that he had also been considering opening his own spa.
Mechanic and auto shop owner Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, survived the attacks after being shot in the forehead, lungs, and stomach. Hernandez-Ortiz’s wife Flor Gonzalez rushed to the scene of the crime after her husband told her on the phone that he had been shot.
In the hospital Gonzalez says she told Hernandez-Ortiz, “this is the time for you to prove that to me, this is the time for you to show me and get over this,” The Washington Post reports. Hernandez-Ortiz is currently in critical condition and a GofundMe for Hernandez-Ortiz set up by Gonzalez aims to cover his medical bills, describing that he’ll need facial surgery. “He came from nothing and has come a long way; that is why I have faith he will survive this,” Gonzalez said.
Hyun Jung Grant, 51, has not yet been named by police, but on Friday the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office identified Grant as one of the victims of the Atlanta shooting. Her 23-year-old son Randy Park told The Daily Beast that he was contacted by the daughter of a survivor of the shooting who had been next to his mother. The shooting occurred at Gold Spa, one of three locations targeted in the attack, where Grant was reportedly an employee according to New York Magazine.
“I could tell her anything,” Park told The Daily Beast of his mother. “If I had girl problems or whatever. She wasn’t just my mother. She was my friend.” He also says that the police department’s statement that the shooter was motivated by a “sexual addiction” is “bullshit.”
This post will be updated.