Victims at one of the three massage parlors in Georgia that were targeted in a shooting rampage last week that killed eight people mistakenly thought that the gunman was firing blanks in an attempted robbery, a relative has revealed.
Gwangho Lee, 38, said when he arrived at the Gold Spa in Atlanta last Tuesday after getting a text message about the shooting, he found his wife, 74-year-old Soon Chung Park, bleeding from her mouth and unresponsive. At the time he was mistakenly told that the gunman was shooting blanks.
Lee, who was told by Park’s co-worker that she had fainted, attempted CPR but could not revive her. He claimed that a police officer who was on the scene stood by and did nothing to help.
Scroll down for video
Gwangho Lee, 38 (right), the husband of Atlanta spa shooting victim Soon Chung Park, 74 (left), said he was initially told the attack was a robbery and the intruder was shooting blanks
When Lee entered the Gold Spa in Atlanta last Tuesday, he found his wife lying unresponsive in the hallway with blood around her mouth
Park was among eight people who were killed at three Atlanta-area day spas by 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, according to the authorities. Six of the victim’s were Asian women, which has prompted activists, celebrities and politicians to demand that the suspect be charged with hate crimes.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been accused of shooting and killing eight people, including six Asian women, at three Atlanta-area massage parlors
Long, the son of a youth minister who was said to be a customer at two out of the three targeted spas, told police that the attacks were not racially motivated, but had to do with his sex addiction, and his purported desire to eliminate the sources of his temptation.
Park, a native of South Korea, worked as a day manager and cook at the Gold Spa. She was one of three women who were killed inside the business.
Another woman was shot dead across the street at Aromatherapy, and four other people were gunned down at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in Cherokee County.
Park’s son-in-law Scott Lee told the New York Times and the Washington Post that she had spent much of her life in New York and New Jersey, before moving to Georgia and starting a new life in the Gwinnett County suburb of Duluth with her husband, Gwangho Lee.
Lee told The Daily Beast that he accepted Park’s marriage proposal after the two met in 2017.
Lee, a Lyft driver, told the Daily Beast he was already on the way to Gold Spa on Tuesday to pick up his wife’s co-worker when the woman texted him about an apparent robbery, and urged him to ‘send the police’ and ‘do it faster.’
GoFundMe campaign for sons of Atlanta spa shooting victim raises more than $2.77M in donations
An online fundraiser for the two sons of one of the eight people who were shot dead during last week’s rampage targeting Atlanta-area massage parlors has drawn more than $2.77million.
Randy Park, 22, the son of Hyun Jung Grant, 51, launched the GoFundMe page on Friday, three days after police said Robert Aaron Long, 21, went on a shooting spree and killed seven women and a man at a trio of day spas.
Park wrote in the campaign’s description that he was seeking donations, with an initial goal of $20,000, for ‘basic living necessities’ such as food, bills, and other expenses for him and his younger brother, who are now the only two members of his family living in the US.
A GoFundMe campaign that was launched on Friday by Randy Park, the son of shooting victim Hyun Jung Grant, has drawn more than $2,770,000 million in donations
‘The rest of my family is in South Korea and are unable to come,’ he wrote. ‘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.’
By Saturday, the campaign had been shared over 66,000 times, with more than 64,300 people donating over $2,471,210.
By Monday morning, the total reached $2,775,680.
The outpouring of support has prompted Park to write a lengthy update expressing his gratitude to his many well-wishers.
‘I don’t know how any word I write here will ever convey how grateful and blessed I am to receive this much support,’ he wrote. ‘To put it bluntly, I can’t believe you guys exist.’
Park said that he has no time to grieve because he has to plan his mother’s funeral and look after his brother while dealing with problems related to the family’s housing situation and financial woes.
The employee later sent another message, telling Lee the intruder was firing ‘blank shots.’
‘Phew,’ a relieved Lee texted back, believing that his wife was not in any real danger.
Lee tried to call Park on her cellphone, but she did not pick up, which was not unusual when she was at work.
Lee met Park in 2017 through a friend, and despite their 36-year age difference, he later accepted her marriage proposal
When he finally pulled up in front of the spa, he was met by Park’s co-worker, who told him the 74-year-old manager had fainted inside.
Lee said he entered the parlor and found his wife lying in the hallway with blood around her mouth, which he thought was due to her falling.
When Lee realized Park was not breathing, he tried to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her but found her tongue to be badly swollen.
Lee then turned to the police officer at the scene, whom he described as ‘just standing there,’ and pleaded with him to help with CPR.
Park could not be saved and died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the results of her autopsy.
Park, a native of South Korea with grown children, worked as a day manager and cook at Gold Spa to help support herself and her husband
Flowers, candles and memorials are arranged outside the Young’s Massage parlor in Cherokee County, Georgia, where four people were killed on Tuesday
Lee recounted for the Daily Beast how he first met Park in 2017 through a friend. Despite being nearly twice his age, she was described as unusually youthful-looking, fit and active, a former dancer and a hard worker.
Park, who had grown children from a previous marriage, took Lee under her wing, helped him get a driver’s license and find work as a ride-share driver and house painter, and later proposed marriage to him.
He said he was hoping to earn enough money so Park could retire, but at the time of her death she was still the main earner in her family.
‘She just liked to work,’ her son-in-law told The New York Times. ‘It wasn’t for the money. She just wanted a little bit of work for her life.’
Lee has launched a GoFundMe account seeking help with his living expenses in the aftermath of Park’s death.