What we know about the spa shooting victims

A memorial set up in from of Young's Asian Massage on Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Acworth, Georgia, to honor the lives of Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan and Daoyou Feng, who were shot and killed in spas around Acworth, Georgia, and others who were killed in similar shootings in Atlanta, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Six of the eight total victims were Asian women. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
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A memorial set up in from of Young's Asian Massage on Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Acworth, Georgia, to honor the lives of Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan and Daoyou Feng, who were shot and killed in spas around Acworth, Georgia, and others who were killed in similar shootings in Atlanta, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Six of the eight total victims were Asian women. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Christina Matacotta for the AJC

A loving grandmother who often helped others. A young wife who was on a date night with her husband. A handyman and Army vet. A proud mother of two sons.

A gunman took them and four others last week. Grieving family and community members mourn their loss as authorities investigate.

Xiaojie Tan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; and Paul Andre Michels, 54, were shot and killed at a spa in Cherokee County. Yong Ae Yue, 63; Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; and Hyun Jung Grant, 51 were shot later at two Atlanta spas.

Here’s what we know about the slain victims:

Yong Ae Yue, 63, loved kids and grandkids, soap operas, reading, feeding hungry people and doting over a Shih Tzu named Iyong.

Her two sons remembered her last week in front of her home in Duluth, where they’ve gathered to make arrangements and grieve. She gave people flowers, gifts, money to cover bills. It didn’t much matter what you needed, said Yue’s two sons. She did what she could, even if it was just care.

Family photo
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Family photo

“My mom, if she was here, her heart would go out to the families as well,” said Elliott Peterson, 42.

Yue, who was born in Korea, moved to Georgia in the 1980s with her husband, a U.S. Army soldier she’d met back home, and Peterson.

“My mother didn’t do anything wrong,” said Robert Peterson, 38, who was born at Fort Benning, and has set up a GoFundMe page to take care of his mother’s memorial and arrangements. “And she deserves the recognition that she is a human, she’s a community person like everyone else. None of those people deserved what happened to them.”

The funeral for Yong will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Peachtree Corners Chapel of Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes and Crematory. The family will gather with family and friends prior to the service at the funeral home.

ExploreWhat happened: A timeline of the Atlanta spa shootings on March 16
Xiaojie “Emily” Tan was one of eight people -- six of whom were of Asian ancestry, killed on March 16, 2021, at area spas. (Courtesy of family)
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Xiaojie “Emily” Tan was one of eight people -- six of whom were of Asian ancestry, killed on March 16, 2021, at area spas. (Courtesy of family)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49, of Kennesaw, owned and ran the spa in Cherokee County. Longtime customer and friend Greg Hynson, 54, recalled hours spent visiting at the shop with Tan.

After Hynson’s father passed two years ago, Hynson’s mom struggled mightily, leaving the son with the accepted but difficult task of caring for an elderly parent. Tan could relate as she worked to provide for her mother in China.

Tan loved to brag on her daughter, a recent University of Georgia grad.

“She was very proud,” he said. “She would share pictures of them doing things. Sunday brunch. When she graduated.”

The daughter, Ying Tan “Jami” Webb, now has no other family in the U.S., according to a GoFundMe page setup to help with Tan’s arrangements.

“Xiaojie loved her life in the US, and worked really hard to provide for her family,” a loved one wrote. “Jami is heartbroken that she will never get to travel with her mom again, but intends to bring her mother’s remains home to Nanning as soon as she can travel safely.”

ExploreFamilies trying to make sense of tragedy
Daoyou Feng  (photo: STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)
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Daoyou Feng (photo: STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Daoyou Feng was 44, lived in Kennesaw and had only been working a few weeks at Tan’s spa.

She was a Chinese citizen, according to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the USA.

“China urges the US side to punish the perpetrator according to law at an early date and do justice to those killed and their beloved ones,” said spokesperson Hua Chunying.

Hynson recalled she was a petite woman with a kind smile. He could tell she was easy to get along with, though neither could speak the other’s language fluently.

ExploreDaoyou Feng: From age 8, she worked various jobs to help her widowed mother
Delaina Ashley Yaun, from Facebook post
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Delaina Ashley Yaun, from Facebook post

Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, 33, and her husband went to the Cherokee spa Tuesday for their first date night since welcoming a baby girl about eight months ago. Her husband survived as the gunman left, headed to kill in Atlanta.

“Boy, I’m going to miss her,” Gonzalez’s grandfather James Yaun Sr. said, standing in his Bartow County doorway, not far from her home. “She was about the only company I had over here.”

The granddad was proud of her, how she worked so hard to provide for her two children. She worked full time at Waffle House and for several years also supervised a roofing crew. A GoFundMe page has been created to raise funds for her arrangements.

A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. at His Hands Church in Woodstock, according to her obituary.

ExploreComplete coverage: Atlanta spa shootings
Suncha Kim, slain victim in spa shootings on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Photo from GoFundMe page.
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Suncha Kim, slain victim in spa shootings on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Photo from GoFundMe page.

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

Suncha Kim was 69.

“She was married to a loving husband who she planned to grow old with,” a statement from the family said. “She has two children. A loving son, a loving daughter, and three beautiful grandchildren. Outside of our immediate family, everyone that met my grandmother loved her dearly.”

A GoFundMe page has been established on behalf of Kim’s family. As of Sunday afternoon, it had surpassed the $20,000 goal with donations exceeding $126,000.

“My grandmother was an angel, to have her taken away in such a horrific manner is unbearable to think about,” granddaughter Regina Song wrote on the fundraising page. “As an immigrant, all my grandmother ever wanted in life was to grow old with my grandfather, and watch her children and grandchildren live the life she never got to live.”

ExploreAsian American leaders, lawmakers: ‘We deserve a right to safety’
Soon Chung Park with husband Gwangho Lee in a photo posted on a GoFundMe page Lee established.
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Soon Chung Park with husband Gwangho Lee in a photo posted on a GoFundMe page Lee established.

Soon Chung Park, 74, had lived in New York before before moving to Atlanta and leaves behind a grieving husband, Gwangho Lee. Lee set up a GoFundMe to help him get by as struggles with the tragedy.

“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.”

Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta, served in the U.S. Army in the 1980s after a childhood spent riding dirt bikes and getting into small-time trouble with younger brother, John, 52, outside Detroit.

“I’m the closest in age, so we were basically like twins,” John Michels told USA Today. “We did everything together growing up.”

The older brother, who did handyman work at the Cherokee spa, was the only man killed in the rampage. He leaves behind a wife, Bonnie, and former neighbors in a Chamblee-area subdivision who recall hearing his old pickup crumble past, signaling that a man who always seemed to be working was off to another job. His wife’s co-workers have established a GoFundMe page to help the family.

Hyun Jung Grant, 51, was among the four women killed Tuesday in Atlanta's spa shootings. She lived in Duluth and had two sons.
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Hyun Jung Grant, 51, was among the four women killed Tuesday in Atlanta's spa shootings. She lived in Duluth and had two sons.

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

Hyun Jung Grant, 51, of Duluth was a single mother of two, both young men who say they had no other family in America. Randy Park, 23, her eldest, told The Associated Press his mom taught him to moonwalk while vacuuming and liked to sing loudly in the car with them.

“She was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today,” Park wrote on a GoFundMe page he set up to cover arrangements for his mom and help him and his brother get by. By Sunday afternoon, it had exceeded $2.8 million, greatly surpassing the modest $20,000 goal.

“Thank you everyone so much. This doesn’t represent even a fragment of how I feel. My mother can rest easy knowing I have the support of the world with me,” Park wrote after the fundraiser went viral.