A handyman killed at the Young’s Asian Massage during the Atlanta-area spa shootings was remembered by his brother as a “good-hearted man” who was eager to help people, according to a report.
Paul Andre Michels, 54, was one of four people killed at the business in the Cherokee County community of Acworth by accused gunman Robert Aaron Long.
“Even though we’re not biological twins, we were basically twins. We hung out and did endless everything together,” John Michels told the Guardian. “Our dad would take us to the lake every Sunday in the summertime.”
Paul was one of nine siblings in a family that grew up in Detroit, according to the outlet.
He had served in the US Army in the 1980s and at one point owned a home security and theater business.
“Last year, he was talking to me, he was actually transitioning into owning a spa,” John told the Guardian.
A business owner in the spa’s complex, who asked to remain anonymous, recognized the handyman’s name on the list of victims released Wednesday. He said Paul would often buy tools from his store.
Michels family friend Kikiana Whidby said Paul had been out of work and doing handiwork for the spa.
“I’m mad, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” Whidby told CBS46, adding that Paul was the godfather to her son and leaves behind a wife.
“He had been out of work for a while and this was something that came to him and he was really excited about,” she said.
Paul built his last shelf there Tuesday afternoon, according to the outlet.
Also killed at the parlor were Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, who was getting a massage with her husband, Xiaojie Yan, 49, and Daoyou Feng, 44, the sheriff’s office said.
Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, was identified as the sole survivor of the shooting in Acworth.
Authorities have not released the names of the four women who were later killed at two spas across the street from each other in the Atlanta suburb of Buckhead.
Six of the eight people slain were Asian women.
Long, who admitted to the shooting spree and has been charged with murder, indicated he may have visited the businesses before.
Police said he didn’t give them any reason to believe the crimes were racially motivated, but they are not ruling out the possibility.