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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Son of Atlanta shooting victim raises $1.5 million

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The son of one of six women of Asian descent killed when a white man went on a shooting rampage in a series of Georgia spas had raised $1.5 million Friday after setting up a GoFundMe page to help provide for himself and his younger brother.

Randy Park, 23, had aimed to raise $20,000 after his mother Hyun Jung Grant was shot dead at the Gold Spa in Atlanta, and he and his brother found themselves abruptly facing an uncertain future.

By Friday evening, his GoFundMe page had raised more than $1.5 million — and counting — for the two young men.

"She was a single mother who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I. It is only my brother and I in the United States," Park said on the website. 

Saying his mother had been "one of my best friends," Park added he had not had time to mourn because "I have a younger brother to take care of and matters to resolve as a result of this tragedy."

"As of now I have been advised to move out of my current home within the end of March to save money and find a new place to live," he said, adding that "legal complications" were preventing him from collecting and burying his mother.

"I don't think I'll be able to figure out this whole situation along with legal matters if given 2 weeks to move out," he said.

Grant, 51, was one of four women killed in Atlanta, together with Soon C. Park, 74; Yong A. Yue, 63; and Suncha Kim, 69, according to the Fulton County medical examiner's office.

The other four victims — targeted at Young's Asian Massage in the Atlanta suburb of Acworth — included Xiaojie Tan, the spa's 49-year-old owner who was described as "the sweetest, kindest, most giving person" by a longtime customer, Greg Hynson, speaking to The New York Times.

The attack also claimed the lives of Delaina Yaun, 33 — a mother of two who was at the spa for a couple's massage with her husband — spa employee Daoyou Feng, 44, and Paul Andre Michels, 54, a handyman doing work at the business.

Police said the 21-year-old man they arrested for the eight deaths allegedly stated he had been struggling with sex addiction, but the carnage has sent shockwaves through the Asian-American community, which has been frequently targeted in racist attacks since the coronavirus pandemic emerged in China.

Park said in his appeal for help that losing his mother "has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world." 

As the donations to his fundraiser poured in, Park posted a note of gratitude to all those who had given.

"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. "I will live the rest of my days grateful for what has essentially given my family a second chance." 


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