Right after work, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez went to Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in Cherokee County, Georgia, United States on March 16, 2021 with her husband Mario Gonzalez. They are residents of Acworth, Cobb County, Georgia and were recently married.
Mario and Delaina were in separate rooms. They were enjoying their respective massages when Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Cherokee County fired at the massage parlor.
While Mario was unharmed, Delaina was one of the four people who died from the shooting. She was 33.
But Mario did not immediately know that his wife was killed during the shooting. According to him, the officers who responded that day handcuffed him and detained him in the back of a patrol vehicle for around four hours.
“Quiero saber si está viva o está muerta (I wanted to know if she was alive or dead),” Mario said of Delaina in an interview with Mundo Hispanico. “Me ignoraron. Me tuvieron en la patrulla durante todo el tiempo hasta que investigaron (They had me inside the patrol car the entire time while they were investigating).”
Delania and Mario, who is originally from Mexico, have a daughter born in August 2020, her sister Dana Toole told CNN. Toole described Delaina as a wonderful and happy person with an upbeat personality.
“Her family came first,” Toole said of Delaina. “Everything was her family.”
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has yet to respond to Mario’s claim. On March 18, 2021, the sheriff’s department announced that its spokesperson Jay Baker was removed from the case after saying during a press conference on March 17, 2021 that Long “had a bad day.”
“In as much as his words were taken or construed as insensitive or inappropriate, they were not intended to disrespect any of the victims, the gravity of this tragedy, or express empathy or sympathy for the suspect,” Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said of Baker. “There are simply no words to describe the degree of human suffering experienced on Tuesday March 16, 2021 in our community and in Atlanta.”