“He’s not OK,” Ms. Toole said about her sister’s husband. “He’s taking it hard.”
Ms. Yaun, one of four siblings who grew up in the area, had worked as a server at a Waffle House restaurant. She raised a 13-year-old son as a single mother and had an 8-month-old daughter, family members said.
“It was just all about family,” Ms. Toole said. “Whatever we’d do, we’d do it together. It doesn’t seem real. I expect to see her walking through the door any minute. It just hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”
DeLayne Davis, a relative, called Ms. Yaun “a good, godly woman.”
Ms. Davis stood with family and friends outside Ms. Yaun’s home in Acworth on Wednesday afternoon, wiping tears from her eyes.
“She was the rock for this family,” Ms. Davis said. “If any family needed anything, they went to her. She doted on her kids.”
Paul Andre Michels, another person killed at the spa, was one of nine siblings, his brother John Michels said.
- Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed in the Atlanta massage parlor shootings. Though the authorities in Atlanta said they did not believe the shootings were racially motivated, Asian communities across the United States are on alert because of a surge in attacks against Asian-Americans over the past year.
- A torrent of hate and violence against Asian-Americans around the U.S. began last spring, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Community leaders say the bigotry was spurred by the rhetoric of former President Donald J. Trump, who referred to the coronavirus as the “China virus.”
- In New York, the wave of xenophobia and violence has been compounded by the economic fallout of the pandemic, which has dealt a severe blow to New York’s Asian-American communities.
- In January, an 84-year-old man from Thailand was violently slammed to the ground in San Francisco, resulting in his death at a hospital two days later. The attack was captured on video and the man’s death became a rallying cry.
“We did almost everything together,” Mr. Michels, 52, said. His brother, he said, was a businessman and a veteran of the U.S. Army infantry, where he served in the late 1980s. Paul Michels had been married for more than 20 years and was a Catholic as well as a strong political conservative, his brother said. He grew up in southwest Detroit and moved to Georgia about 25 years ago for work.
“My brother was a very hard-working, loving man,” Mr. Michels said.
Mr. Hernandez-Ortiz, the man injured in the attack, was making his way to a money exchange business next door to Young’s Asian Massage when shots rang out, his wife, Flor Gonzalez, said. Moments later, he desperately reached for his cellphone.