In the aftermath of Robert Aaron Long’s targeted shooting spree at three Asian-owned massage parlors, the Cherokee County sheriff’s office has been sharply criticized—and rightfully so—for showing the killer a remarkable degree of sympathy. According to Mario González, who was at Young’s Asian Massage on a date night with his wife Delaina Ashley Yaun, one of the eight people that Long shot and killed last Tuesday, sheriff’s deputies treated him like a suspect, not a traumatized victim.
In a video interview with the Spanish-language news outlet Mundo Hispánico, González shared that he was detained for four hours, was handcuffed by sheriff’s deputies, and was not told that his wife had been killed until long after officers knew of her death. More details via the New York Times, which reported on the interview with Mundo Hispánico (emphasis my own):
Once Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrived, he was detained and held for about four hours, Mr. González said, according to Mundo Hispánico.
He said he did not see his wife as he was led out of the spa, and officers did not let him get close to her. Eventually, he said, officers told him that his wife had been killed.
“And they knew that I was the husband,” Mr. González said of the authorities. He held a photograph of himself with his wife as he spoke. “They gave me the news that she was dead.”
He questioned why it took officials so long to tell him that his wife had died, and wondered why they had detained him in the first place.
“Maybe because I’m Mexican, I don’t know,” he said. “Because the truth is, they treated me badly.” He showed the camera the marks left on his arm from the handcuffs placed on him by officers.
According to González, the couple had decided to visit Young’s Asian Massage in order to relax and had found a babysitter for their eight-month old daughter. Yaun in particular, he said, “was tired of working so much, she was working every day.”
“[He] took away the most precious thing that I have in my life,” González said of Long during the interview, before adding, “That I had.” He added, “That murderer only left me pain.”