Slain spa workers and customers mourned by families

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Flowers, candles and signs are displayed at a makeshift memorial on Friday, March 19, 2021, in Atlanta. Robert Aaron Long, a white man, is accused of killing several people, most of whom were of Asian descent, at massage parlors in the Atlanta area. (AP Photo/Candice Choi)

ATLANTA – Mothers, grandmothers and a brother. They loved to cook, dance, sing and travel. They worked long hours, sometimes in settings their children little understood. These are the eight people killed by gunfire at three Atlanta-area massage businesses. Seven of the slain were women, and six of them were of Asian descent. Police charged a 21-year-old white man with the killings, saying he was solely responsible for the deadliest U.S. mass shooting since 2019. In the days since the shooting, fuller pictures of almost all the victims have emerged. The exception is 44-year-old Daoyou Feng, an employee at Youngs Asian Massage near Woodstock about whom little is known.


Sunday should have seen 63-year-old Yong Ae Yue buying groceries and cooking Korean food for her family. Instead those relatives are mourning her death Tuesday at the Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved mother, and words cannot adequately describe our grief,” her sons said in a statement released by attorney BJay Pak.

Yue immigrated from South Korea to the United States, and was married for a time to Mac Peterson of Columbus, who once served at the Army's Fort Benning in that Georgia city.

“Mom was an amazing woman who loved to introduce our family and friends to her home-cooked Korean food and Korean karaoke,” said Rob Peterson, one of Yue’s sons, who described her as an “amazing woman” in a fundraising appeal. “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.”

Yue was a licensed massage therapist in Georgia who owned a home in the suburb of Peachtree Corners. Relatives reached there declined comment.