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Family of husband who survived Atlanta spa shooting tell how he escaped only to be handcuffed


Mario Gonzalez had just escaped Young’s Asian Massage Parlor where a gunman opened fire Tuesday and was greeted by police who placed him in handcuffs – as he pleaded for information about his dying wife who was still inside, his niece told DailyMail.com.

‘He was in the handcuffs for like two hours because they thought it might be him,’ Jessica Gonzalez, 20, said, recalling conversations with her uncle who was at the spa with his wife Delaina Gonzalez to get massages.

‘He’s very upset and angry about that. He was handcuffed for something he didn’t do. I think it was a racial thing. He was the only one left in handcuffs.’

‘He kept asking, ”Where’s my wife? Where’s my wife?” and nobody would give him an answer,’ the niece added. ‘He didn’t get any answers until a couple hours later.’

Mario Gonzalez  and his wife Delaina were in separate rooms waiting for massages at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor when gunshots rang out Tuesday

Mario is seen sitting on the sidewalk in handcuffs, as his wife lay dying inside. Police still hadn't identified a suspect, so restrained him as a precaution

Mario is seen sitting on the sidewalk in handcuffs, as his wife lay dying inside. Police still hadn’t identified a suspect, so restrained him as a precaution

Within minutes the video shows a few lucky survivors exiting the spa, followed by the arrival of cops and paramedics as one victim is seen on the sidewalk with blood flowing from a bullet wound to the head

Within minutes the video shows a few lucky survivors exiting the spa, followed by the arrival of cops and paramedics as one victim is seen on the sidewalk with blood flowing from a bullet wound to the head

Mario Gonzalez, a landscaper originally from Veracruz in Mexico, married Delaina in 2020. The couple met at a Waffle House where she worked, just a couple miles from Young’s Asian Massage.

‘One day my uncle, out of the blue, said he had a girlfriend and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ He never had a girlfriend. He said they met at Waffle House and exchanged numbers and Facebook information. I’d never seen him with anyone, so when he told me he had a girlfriend, I was very excited for him. I encouraged him, told him I was very happy.’

Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, 33, was killed in the first parlor in Acworth

Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, 33, was killed in the first parlor in Acworth

The couple had a baby last year, Mia, who’s now eight months old. On Tuesday, they went to the spa for a rare evening out.

‘He said they were in separate rooms waiting for their massages to start when they heard shooting,’ Jessica said.

Robert Aaron Long, 21, shot Delaina and four others including the owner, before fleeing.

‘My uncle screamed for his wife, but he didn’t see her,’ the niece said.

Shortly after he ran out, cops pulled up. Surveillance video shows him cuffed outside the spa, before he was placed in the patrol car.

Alex Acosta, who worked next door at Gabby’s Boutique, recognized Mario on the sidewalk and approached him, telling DailyMail.com, ‘Mario looked at me and he told me his wife was still inside. He told me to tell the police.’

When Acosta’s wife told a cop about Delaina, the officer replied, ‘I know.’

Reached by phone, Mario Gonzalez told DailyMail.com in Spanish that he’s very upset and too traumatized to talk at this time. He’s been struggling to maintain focus to care for his baby and plan for a funeral.

‘He’s mourning,’ Jessica said. ‘He’s not sleeping, trying to be with his baby right now.’

Asked about the killer, Jessica said she doesn’t believe Long’s claim that this wasn’t a hate crime.

‘I think he’s just covering up,’ she said. ‘I believe he’s not crazy and knows right from wrong. There’s no way he specifically targets three Asian Massage places and that it’s not a hate crime.’

Mario, a landscaper originally from Veracruz in Mexico, married Delaina in 2020 and they share an eight month old baby

Mario, a landscaper originally from Veracruz in Mexico, married Delaina in 2020 and they share an eight month old baby

'He's mourning,' Jessica said of Mario Gonzalez, pictured with his late wife and child. 'He's not sleeping, trying to be with his baby right now.'

‘He’s mourning,’ Jessica said of Mario Gonzalez, pictured with his late wife and child. ‘He’s not sleeping, trying to be with his baby right now.’

'My uncle screamed for his wife, but he didn't see her,' the niece said. Delaina is pictured in a Facebook photo

‘My uncle screamed for his wife, but he didn’t see her,’ the niece said. Delaina is pictured in a Facebook photo 

More and more flowers, signs and balloons were put in front of the spa overnight to memorialize the lives taken

More and more flowers, signs and balloons were put in front of the spa overnight to memorialize the lives taken 

Long shot dead eight people including six Asian women at three parlors – one in Acworth and two in Atlanta – on Tuesday. He then went on the run and was driving to Florida to target porn-industry locations when he was arrested 150 miles south of Atlanta. Police rammed his Hyundai off the road to take him into custody. 

Robert Aaron Long, 21, told police that he has a sex addiction and viewed the parlors as an 'outlet' and 'temptation' that he wanted to remove. He confessed to the killings after police rammed his car off the road at 8pm on Tuesday night. He was on his way to Florida to carry out more attacks

Robert Aaron Long, 21, told police that he has a sex addiction and viewed the parlors as an ‘outlet’ and ‘temptation’ that he wanted to remove.

Atlanta police said Thursday that ‘nothing is off the table’ in the investigation of the deadly shootings at Georgia massage parlors, including whether it was a hate crime.  

‘Our investigation is looking at everything, so nothing is off the table,’ Deputy Atlanta Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said at a news conference.

Four of the eight victims have now been named as; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44. Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was injured but survived.  

Not all of the victims were staff , including Delaina. 

Initially, police said they were probing whether race was a factor in the attacks because six of the eight victims were Asian women. 

But on Wednesday morning, they said Long told them that was not why he carried out the attacks. Instead, he said he is addicted to sex and porn, and wanted to remove the ‘temptation’ of the parlors.  



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