ATLANTA — The 23-year-old son of one of the victims of Tuesday’s shootings in Georgia has established a GoFundMe page for himself and his brother, at the same time paying tribute to his mother.
As of Friday night, Randy Park’s page has raised more than $2 million. The goal was $20,000.
Hyun Jung Grant, a 51-year-old single parent, was one of eight people killed, six of them Asian American women, by a gunman at Young’s Asian Spa in Acworth, Cherokee County, and two spas 30 miles away in Atlanta, Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa. On Friday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the Atlanta victims as Grant, Suncha Kim, 69, Soon C. Park, 74, and Yong A. Yue, 63.
Atlanta Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton said the motive still needs to be determined and that it was too soon to say whether the suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 21, “specifically targeted” his victim. Long has claimed to be struggling with sex addiction and denied any racial motivation.
Asian American community advocates say that regardless of what the suspect says, racism and sexism are behind the crime.
“My mother, Hyun Jung Grant (maiden name Kim), was one of the victims of the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia at Gold Spa,” wrote Randy Park. “This is something that should never happen to anyone. 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. The rest of my family is in South Korea and are unable to come.
“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. As much as I want to grieve and process the reality that she is gone, I have a younger brother to take care of and matters to resolve as a result of this tragedy.
“Frankly, I have no time to grieve for long. I will need to figure out the living situation for my brother and I for the next few months, possibly year. 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.
“My biggest priority right now is to put my mother to rest and plan out the funeral but due to some legal complications, I am unable to obtain my mother’s body. 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.
“Any donation will be used as funds for basic living necessities for my brother and I such as food, bills, and other expenses. I wish to stay in my current home for at least one more month to sort everything out. Any amount would be forever appreciated.
“Please everyone just stay safe and check up on your friends and loved ones that may feel endangered.”
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Park did not accept Long’s explanation for his rampage. “That’s bullsh*t. My question to the family is, what did y’all teach him? Did you turn him in because you’re scared that you’ll be affiliated with him? You just gonna scapegoat your son out? And they just get away scot free? Like, no, you guys definitely taught him some sh*t. Take some f**king responsibility.”
In an update on Thursday, Park wrote, “I don’t know how any word I write here will ever convey how grateful and blessed I am to receive this much support. Sharing and listening was more than enough. Thank you so much. And to those of you that have donated any amount of money, to put it bluntly, I can’t believe you guys exist. People I will probably never meet, hear, nor express my thanks to.
“This is simply a change in my life. I don’t even think I have a proper grasp on how much this is. I’ve never had a good understanding how much money was worth but every cent of it will be used only in pure necessity. I will live the rest of my days grateful for what has essentially given my family a second chance.
“I don’t even know if any of this makes sense or is grammatically correct. I had very close friends proofread and edit the description of the fundraiser but this is purely my words uncut and unedited. I can’t name everyone for sake of space but you know who you are in discord. I won’t be able to speak to you guys about how much everything has meant to me so I hope this reaches you guys.
“Thank you everyone and please share whatever care and kindness you have shown here to anyone you know that feels scared or unsure about the world we live in. I can’t help but feel selfish for all the attention this has garnered. Thank you everyone so much. This doesn’t represent even a fragment of how I feel.
“My mother can rest easy knowing I have the support of the world with me.”
To make a donation, click here.