Cherokee County

“I would have shot him:” Spa shooting survivor has strong message for accused shooter

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Court documents reveal there were multiple people inside a Cherokee County Asian spa where four people were killed.

The shooting was part of a spree that left 8 people dead at three spas across metro Atlanta in March.

Channel 2′s Chris Jose talked to a man who said one of the victims saved his life that day.

Five people were shot at Young’s Asian Spa when the 21-year-old gunman burst through the doors on March 16. Four people died and one survived.

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The 23-page indictment against accused shooter Robert Aaron Long reveals there were six other people who witnessed the shootings and survived. All were in separate rooms.

Marcus Lyon vividly remembers the afternoon of March 16. He said he was on a bed inside the spa when he heard shots.


“Every two seconds, it was just, ‘Pow!’ Pause. ‘Pow!’ Pause,” Lyon said. “Another, ‘Pow!’”

Lyon said his masseuse told him to wait.

“Once that second one went off, I just dove behind that bed,” Lyons said.

Seconds later, the gunman walked into the room and shot his masseuse.

Lyon believes she saved his life.

“He probably just walked right past me, didn’t see anybody, and just kept going,” Lyons said.

Lyon said he instantly went into survival mode and hid until the gunman left.

“You know, it’s too late to be scared once it happens. So you kind of have to snap into reality,” Lyon said. “What am I going to do next? Because my next move has to be my best move or I’m going to end up getting shot, too.”

Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan and Daoyou Feng were all killed.

Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz was shot in the face and survived.

“I kind of wish I had my gun in that building at the time,” Lyon said. “Because I would’ve been saving lives. I would have shot him. There were no questions about it. I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.”

Lyon said he will be in court during Long’s trial.

“That’s why I can’t wait to go to court, really. Because now I can actually see you,” Lyon said. “Like, oh, this is what I would’ve saw if that would’ve been my last breath.”

This week, the Fulton County district attorney said she will seek the death penalty against Long. Cherokee’s district attorney said she’ll make that decision before Long’s arraignment.