The entire nation mourns the eight victims of the Atlanta spa shootings.
Last Tuesday, a series of mass shootings occurred at three different spas and massage parlors in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia.
In total, there were eight fatalities, including six Asian women.
Following a manhunt, police arrested suspect Robert Aaron Long, 21, who was later charged with four counts of murder in Atlanta, and four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault in Cherokee County.
Though police say Long told them he did not target the victims because of their race, many are identifying a link between this incident and the rising number of hate crimes against Asians in the past year.
Despite this tragic event, there are ways to help the families of those affected.
Last Wednesday, the first victims killed at Young’s Asian Massage were Delaina Ashley Yuan González, 33, of Acworth; Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta; Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw; and Daoyou Feng, 44.
Days later, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remaining four victims as Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69; and Yong Ae Yue, 63.
Many of the victims’ family members have created GoFundMe pages to cover funeral and living expenses.
Hyun Jung Grant
After his mother was one of three people killed at the Gold Spa massage parlor, 23-year-old Randy Park created a GoFundMe to raise funds for himself and his younger brother, who are the only members of their family living in the United States.
In his message, he describes his mother as “one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today.”
“My mother, Hyun Jung Grant (maiden name Kim), was one of the victims of the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia at Gold Spa. This is something that should never happen to anyone. She was a single mother who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I,” he wrote.
“It is only my brother and I in the United States. The rest of my family is in South Korea and are unable to come. She was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today. Losing her has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world.”
As of this writing, Randy’s page has raised over $2.8 million.
Delaina Ashley Yaun González
Last week, Amy Cinkaj created a GoFundMe for González, who was visiting one of the spas with her husband when she was shot.
According to People, she leaves behind two children.
“She didn’t have a cross word for anybody,” a relative told the magazine.
As of this writing, the page has raised over $100,000.
Xiaojie “Emily” Tan
Earlier this week, Lauren Mellone created a GoFundMe on behalf of her stepsister Ying Tan “Jami” Webb, the only child of Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, who was killed the day before her 50th birthday.
According to Mellone, Jami and Emily where the only two from their family to immigrate to the U.S. from China.
In her note, Mellone stresses that Jami is the sole beneficiary of this campaign, which aims to raise money for Emily’s funeral costs and potential legal fees.
As of this writing, the page has raised over $80,000.
Paul Andre Michels
Last week, Brittany Alshaibani created a GoFundMe for Michels, whose wife Bonnie works with her at the Juicy Crab in Tucker.
Michels’ younger brother, John Michels, told The Associated Press that Paul was doing work at Young’s Asian Massage when he was fatally shot.
As of this writing, Michels’ GoFundMe has raised over $60,000.
Last week, Hillary Li created a GoFundMe on behalf of Regina Song, Kim’s granddaughter.
In a note written by her family, Kim migrated to the U.S. from Seoul, South Korea, to “provide for a better life for my family.”
“Like many Asian immigrants, she spoke very little English and worked two to three jobs. This took immense courage and my grandmother was a fighter,” her family said.
She leaves behind a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren.
As of this writing, her page has raised over $190,000.
Soon Chung Park
This week, Gwangho Lee created a GoFundMe for his wife Park, who was a day manager and cook at Gold Spa.
Per People, Lee reportedly attempted to perform CPR on Park minutes after she was shot.
In his message, Lee says he is unable to work due to the trauma he experienced from the attack.
“I am raising money to pay for my living expenses, including rent and bills, because I am currently unable to work due to the trauma I have experienced from this attack and from the death of my wife,” he wrote. “I would be very grateful for any support that will allow me to get back on my feet after this terrible loss.”
As of this writing, the page has raised over $50,000.
Yong Ae Yue
Over the weekend, Yue’s youngest son Rob Pete created a GoFundMe for his mother, who he describes as “always kind-hearted and willing to help everyone she encountered.”
“The world will throw you trials and tribulations to test you, but this test feels so unfair. We are still in shock over the violent murder of our mother, but through our grieving we are making plans to memorialize her, bring our family together, and resolve her financial matters,” he wrote.
“Nothing could have prepared us for this tragic moment that has created immediate and future expenses that we could never have imagined.”
Rob’s page, aimed to raise money for his mother’s various affairs, has raised over $140,000.
Per the New York Times, Feng was an employee of Tan at Young’s Asian Massage who had just started working at the spa in the past few months.
In an interview with the Washington Post, a friend of Tan described Feng as kind and quiet.
It is not clear whether a verified GoFundMe for Feng has been created.
Following the tragic news, a number of celebrities, including Olivia Munn and John Legend, offered their condolences to the victims and their loved ones.
Absolutely horrible. Sending love to all the loved ones of those whose lives were taken. Our nation needs to reckon with the increased threats being directed at our Asian-American brothers and sisters. https://t.co/52DCKPeDOt— John Legend (@johnlegend) March 17, 2021
You guys don’t know how much your kind words mean to me right now 😭❤️ I love you so much wow— Lana Condor (@lanacondor) March 17, 2021
This is deeply, deeply sad.— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) March 17, 2021
Trump on Fox *tonight* referred to COVID using the racist slur "China virus."
He previously called it the "Kung Flu."
While he continues to spread hatred against Asian Americans, people like this shooter are listening.https://t.co/bBAkzQl3R1
On Tuesday, People confirmed that Ken Jeong donated at least $50,000 to the families of Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Yong Ae Yue, and Xiaojie Tan.
That day, the host of “The Masked Singer” posted a video of his appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” where he spoke out against anti-Asian-American crime.
“Enough is enough. We’re just fed up,” Jeong told Meyers. ”Anti-Asian-American crime has risen almost 150 percent in the last year, while overall hate crime went down 7 percent. This is precisely due to weaponizing terms such as ‘the China Virus’ and ‘Kung Flu.’”
“Stop Asian Hate” Protests
Over the weekend, thousands participated in protests in Atlanta, New York City, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C., to stand in solidarity with the Asian community.
At a “Stop Asian Hate” protest in Pittsburgh, Sandra Oh gave an impassioned speech where she declared, “I am proud to be Asian!”
“I know many of us in our community are very scared and I understand that,” she said in her speech. “One way to get through our fear is to reach out to our communities. I will challenge everyone here, if you see something, will you help me? We must understand as Asian Americans, we just need to reach out our hands to our sisters and brothers and say, ‘Help me,’ and, ‘I am here.’”