A “kind-hearted” massage therapist who recently returned to work after being laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic was among the eight victims killed in the shooting rampage at three Atlanta-area spas, her family said.
Yong Ae Yue, 63, had been excited to have returned to her shifts when she was gunned down at one of the Buckhead massage parlors on Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“My mother didn’t do anything wrong,” one of her two sons, Robert Peterson, 38, told the newspaper.
“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.”
Peterson said his mother had immigrated to the US in the 1980s after meeting his father, an American soldier.
He described her as deeply caring and said she would always insist on cooking for anyone who stopped by their house.
“Mom was an amazing woman who loved to introduce our family and friends to her home-cooked Korean food and Korean karaoke,” he wrote on a GoFundMe page.
“Will miss joining mom on her weekly Sunday routine to the grocery store and traditional Korean dinner. She was always kind-hearted and willing to help everyone she encountered.”
The GoFundMe campaign is raising funds for her memorial and to settle any financial affairs.
“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,” the page said.
Six of the eight victims — including Yue — were women of Asian descent, authorities said.
Police have charged 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long in connection to the mass shooting, though authorities have said it’s too early in the investigation to determine if it was a hate crime.