The names of some of the Atlanta-area spa shooting victims have now been released. You can read them later in this article. The suspect has been named as Robert Aaron Long, and authorities say he may have targeted the massage parlors because he claimed to have a sex addiction.
The Atlanta mayor praised the “seamless coordination of law enforcement.” She called it a “tragic day throughout our state. There were several victims who were tragically killed. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those families…A crime against any community is a crime against us all.”
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said, “Is this a hate crime? We are still early in this investigation so we can’t make a determination at this moment.”
Sheriff Cherokee County Frank Reynolds said the first call came in at 4:55 p.m. March 16 for a shooting. Our deputies responded and found “multiple gunshot victims,” he said. They quickly identified the suspect from video footage. They put that information out on social media shortly thereafter, and members of the family came forward to tell law enforcement that the suspect “may be their son, and so we met with them.”
The family was “very distraught and they were very helpful in this apprehension,” Reynolds said. Authorities were able to track his phone. A position was set up “to intercept our suspect.” They stopped the vehicle to prevent a pursuit and took the suspect into custody.
“He made indicators he has some issues, potentially sexual addiction and may have frequented some of these places in the past,” Reynolds said. Asked whether the shootings were racially motivated, he said, “It may not be. It may be targets of opportunity. He had frequented the establishments in the past. He may have been lashing out.” He said that race didn’t appear to be the motive.
Bryant said that three females were found shot in the second location, and then another female was found shot in a third location. Both locations were massage parlors. The mayor said the suspect was on his way to Florida to possibly seek out more victims. She said they were “legally operated businesses” that had not been on the radar of Atlanta police. Authorities say the suspect “took responsibility for the shootings.” No political or religious motive was released. The mayor said “the majority of victims are Asian” and denounced anti-Asian discrimination around the country.
Here are the victims named so far. Photos and details are being added as they are obtained.
Cherokee County Deceased Victims at Young’s Asian Massage in Cherokee County
Xiaojie Tan, 49
Xiaojie Tan was from Kennesaw, Georgia.
According to WSB-TV, she was the owner of Young’s Asian Massage whose child recently graduated from the University of Georgia.
Friends described her to the television station as “the sweetest, most kind hearted, giving, never-met-a-stranger person.”
Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, Acworth
On Facebook, Yaun said that she was a cook at Waffle House who went to Etowah High School. She is married, and photos show her with young children. Wedding photos posted to Facebook show she was married in 2020.
“let go and give it to god💞🙏🙏🙏,” she wrote on Facebook. “dejalo ir y ponlo en las manos de dios.”
A GoFundMe page for her family read, “During a simple couple [sic] massage with her husband after work, Delaina Yaun lost her life after the parlor was shot uHer husband made it safely out but she leaves behind two beautiful children Mia and Mayson.”
A friend wrote on Facebook,
Delaina Yaun I can’t believe your gone… I am going to miss you so much. You were such a great role model. You were an amazing Mother, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Grandaughter, Cousin, & best friend that anyone could have asked for… your heart of gold, kindness, and pure love 💕 will never be forgotten. Your legacy lives on, you have touched so many peoples lives, you were one of the most dedicated women I have ever known. Strong willed, love and dedication, is what you were made of. Thank you for the times we shared together. We had so much fun cuz, I love you. Give your daddy a hug for me. Gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN. March 16th, 2021.
Daoyou Feng, 44
No photo or biography of Feng has emerged yet.
Paul Andre Michels, 54
Michels was from Atlanta. Online records show that he had past ties to Michigan.
His brother John Michels told The Guardian that he was ]a handyman at Youngs Asian Massage. He described Paul as a “very good man,” saying, “He was just a regular guy, very good-hearted, very soft-natured,” he said.
He told The Guardian Paul Michels was a U.S. Army veteran who was hoping to open a spa of his own some day and was from Detroit.
“I’m mad, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” Kikiana Whidby said to CBS 46.
Injured Victim in Cherokee County
Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, of Acworth. His family says he’s in serious condition.
His wife set up a GoFundMe page to help the family. “My husband was also victim of the Cherokee county shootings that took place on Tuesday, highway 92. He is at the hospital in intensive care. He was shot in the forehead down to his lungs and into his stomach. He will be needing facial surgery. Please help me and my family raise money to cover for my husband’s medical bills. Please pray for my family and the family’s that were affected by this shooting. Anything will greatly help our family,” it reads.