A GoFundMe page for the two sons of a single mom killed in the Georgia spa mass shooting has now reached over $2.7 million.
The fundraising page was set up Friday by Randy Park, 22, three days after his mother, 51-year-old Hyun Jung Grant, was shot and killed at the Gold Spa in Atlanta where she worked.
Within one day, it had gone viral and topped $2 million in donations as the nation reeled from the attack at a time when Asian-American hate crimes have surged.
As of Monday morning, more than 72,000 donors had contributed $2,773,820 to help Grant’s two sons, dwarfing the $20,000 target.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been charged with murdering Grant and seven other people in Tuesday’s deadly rampage at two Asian massage parlors in Atlanta and one in Cherokee County.
The eight victims have now been identified as Grant; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Soon C. Park, 44; Suncha Kim, 69, and 63-year-old Yong Yue.
A GoFundMe page for the two sons of a single mom killed in the Georgia spa mass shooting has now reached over $2.7 million
Shooting victim Hyun Jung Grant (left) came from South Korea with her two sons (pictured) and was raising them on her own
Park wrote that he was seeking donations, with a 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.
‘This is something that should never happen to anyone. She [Grant] 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. The rest of my family is in South Korea and are unable to come.’
By Saturday, the campaign had been shared over 66,000 times, with more than 64,300 people donating over $2,471,210.
The outpouring of donations 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.’
He described the 51-year-old Grant as a ‘single mother who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I.’
‘She was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today,’ he wrote movingly.
‘Losing her has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world.’
Grant’s son Randy Park, 22, talks on Friday about his loss. He said his mother was one of his best friends
By Saturday, the campaign had been shared over 66,000 times, with more than 64,300 people donating over $2,471,210
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.
Grant loved disco and club music, often strutting or moonwalking while doing household chores and jamming with her sons to tunes blasting over the car stereo.
The single mother found ways to enjoy herself despite working ‘almost every day’ to support sons, Park said.
‘I learned how to moonwalk because, like, I saw her moonwalking while vacuuming when I was a kid,’ Park said.
On Tuesday night, Park was at home playing video games when he heard a gunman had opened fire at the Gold Spa in Atlanta where his mother worked.
He rushed to the scene and then to a police station to find out more information. But it was through word of mouth that he learned his mother was dead.
Authorities have said Long told them he wasn’t motivated by race.
Grant, 51, was killed at Gold Spa, where she worked on Tuesday when gunman Robert Aaron Long opened fire
Park dismissed the idea that the shootings weren’t fueled by anti-Asian sentiment.
Still, he said that his mother raised him to believe that people are fundamentally good, though ‘sometimes, things go horribly wrong.’
Her job was a sensitive subject, Park said, noting the stigma often associated with massage businesses.
She told her sons that they should tell others she worked doing makeup with her friends.
Ultimately, Park said, he didn’t care what she did for work.
‘She loved me and my brother enough to work for us, to dedicate her whole life,’ he said. ‘That’s enough.’
All eight victims of the mass shooting rampage had been identified by Friday and were found to include an Army veteran, a newlywed and a hardworking single mother-of-two.
Three victims died at the Gold Spa in Atlanta and a fourth at the Aromatherapy Spa just across the street.
Four others died at Young’s Asian Massage near Acworth, a city about 32 miles northwest of Atlanta in Cherokee County.
This map shows the locations of the three shootings in the Atlanta area and the place where Long was ultimately arrested
A ninth victim – Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz, 30 – was shot in the throat, forehead, lungs and stomach, but survived and is expected to recover.
The husband of one of the victims told how he was on his way to the spa when he got a message from one of the other employees saying an intruder was firing ‘blank shots.’
Gwangho Lee, 38, told The Daily Beast a worker who was friends with his wife 74-year-old Soon Chung Park had messaged him about 30 minutes before the attack unfolded at Gold’s Spa.
The worker had asked him for a ride home so he was on his way to the spa when he got a message saying the spa was being robbed and to ‘send the police.’
She messaged again saying ‘do it faster’ before sending another message saying he was firing ‘blank shots.’
Lee said he felt relieved thinking this meant his wife and her colleagues were safe but when he arrived on the scene he found Park unconscious.
Her colleague told him she thought Park had fainted but he knelt over her body and saw blood around her mouth.
Lee told The Daily Beast he then realized his wife wasn’t breathing and started performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and shouting at a cop on the scene to help him perform CPR.
Delaina Yaun, 34, was a married mom-of-two who had arranged a spa day with her husband to relax from taking care of their new baby. She was killed but her husband escaped alive
Xiaojie Tan, 49 (right), was the owner of Young’s Asian Massage spa; she is survived by her daughter Jami Webb (left), a recent University of Georgia graduate
Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz, 30. was shot in the throat, forehead, lungs and stomach, but survived
Long is believed to have first opened fire at Young’s Asian Massage at 5pm killing four before driving to Atlanta and opening fire in Gold Massage Spa, killing three.
When police were there, they received reports of more shots across the street at Aromatherapy Spa, where the eighth victim was found.
He then went on the run and was driving to Florida to target porn-industry locations when he was arrested 150 miles south of Atlanta, police said.
Officers rammed his Hyundai off the road to take him into custody where he is said to have confessed to the killings.
Police say they found Long thanks to help from his parents, who recognized him from surveillance footage posted by authorities and gave investigators his cellphone information.
Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been charged with murdering four people at two spas in Atlanta and four more in a spa in Cherokee County on Tuesday
Meanwhile, more information has been coming out about the suspected shooter, who was described by those who knew him as a devout Christian and the son of a youth minister who had been in rehabilitation for his sex addiction.
Long, who was said to be a customer at two out of the three targeted spas, told police Wednesday the attacks were not racially motivated, but had to do with his sex and pornography addiction, and his purported desire to eliminate the sources of his temptation.
Six of the eight people killed were women of Asian descent.
Law enforcement officials in Atlanta and Cherokee County on Thursday said they had not ruled out that the attack was a hate crime and were actively investigating that, stressing that ‘nothing is off the table.’
Their statements came after Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt Jay Baker sparked widespread condemnation for saying during a news conference Wednesday that the 21-year-old suspect had had ‘a really bad day’ and ‘this is what he did.’
Some activists had called for Baker to be fired over both his comments and the discovery of a Facebook post that Baker appeared to have written to promote a T-shirt with racist language about China and the coronavirus.
On Thursday, Baker was replaced as the spokesman in the Long investigation, after Sheriff Frank Reynolds issued a statement acknowledging that some of the captain’s comments stirred ‘much debate and anger’ and said the agency regrets any ‘heartache’ caused by his words.
Protests were held nationwide Saturday condemning anti-Asian racism as Asian people have increasingly become the victims of racist attacks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.