CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — In an exclusive interview with Channel 2′s Chris Jose, the sister of a woman killed in the spa shootings in metro Atlanta talked about forgiveness.
Jose asked Delaina Yaun’s sister if she wants prosecutors to pursue the death penalty.
“I can’t make that call. That’s in God’s hands,” said Dana Toole. “A lot of people would say, ‘An eye for an eye.’ If she (Delaina Yaun) were here, she would forgive him for doing that to her. She was that kind of person, and me to hold that anger against him isn’t going to do me any good.”
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Five weeks ago, police said Robert Aaron Long killed eight people at three spas. Two are located in Atlanta and one in Cherokee County. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said Long confessed to the murders.
Yaun was on a date night with her husband, Mario Gonzalez, at Youngs Asian Massage on Highway 92 near Bells Ferry Road. They were in separate rooms when the gunfire erupted. Yaun’s husband hid and survived.
“The Asian community was attacked, but I was attacked. My sister was attacked. Our family was attacked,” said Toole. “It’s heartbreaking, so I want to make sure her story is told and she’s not forgotten.”
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During the interview, Toole showed Jose a scrapbook filled with newspaper articles and pictures that she collected over the last month.
“It’s family history. This is history that happened to my family,” said Toole.
As painful as it is, Toole is saving everything from the spa shootings. She told Jose she’ll show it to her sister’s children one day.
“Her kids need to grow up together knowing how much she loved them,” said Toole. “She’s not here anymore, and I feel like I should be there for her, like she was there for me.”
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One of the last pages in the scrapbook is a letter signed by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
The letter said in part: “Though the grieving process never quite ends, from experience, we promise you the day will come when Delaina’s memory will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. Our prayer for you and your family is that day comes sooner rather than letter.”
Toole told Jose that justice would be a life sentence in prison. For now, she wants the focus back on her sister.
Yaun was 33-years old. She had a 13-year old-son and an 8-month-old daughter.