A GEORGIA man who survived the Atlanta shooting apparently was handcuffed by police for two hours as his wife slowly died in the room next door because police mistook him for the shooter.
Mario Gonzalez alleges he was put in handcuffs for two hours while he pleaded with police for information regarding his wife, who was still inside the Young’s Asian Massage Parlor where Robert Aaron Long opened fire into on Tuesday.
Mario Gonzalez says he was handcuffed by police for two hours while his wife lay dyingCredit: Facebook
Police suspected Gonzalez of shooting multiple people into the massage parlor where he and his wife were getting massagesCredit: Facebook
He told Mundo Hispanico he and his wife Delaina Gonzalez went to the spa to get massages when Long opened fire, striking his wife in the next room over.
But when police arrived, they mistook Gonzalez as the shooter, and detained him.
“It was a very sad day … we were going with the intention of giving ourselves a massage,” Gonzalez said. “We were happy and happy, she had just left her job so we wanted to celebrate the moment when that would happen.”
When the couple went to get their massages, they booked a one-hour massage in separate rooms. That’s when shots started breaking out.
Robert Aaron Long killed eight people, six of whom were Asian, on TuesdayCredit: Reuters
He targeted three parlors in the greater Atlanta areaCredit: Alamy
“I waited there in my room, I did not leave,” Gonzalez recounted as he described the harrowing ordeal.
That’s when Long, 21, shot Delaina and four others before fleeing the store.
Gonzalez ran out of the store just as police arrived, with surveillance video showing police cuffing him outside the spa before he was placed in the patrol car.
“I wanted to know if she is alive or dead,” Gonzalez said he asked police. “They ignored me.”
“They had me on patrol the entire time, until they investigated,” he added.
It wasn’t until hours later that police told him his wife had succumbed to her injuries.
“They waited until the end to give me news that my wife had passed away,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and his wife, who got married in 2020 and share an eight-month-old girl named Mia, had a rare night out on Tuesday when they went to treat themselves to a massage.
“He left me with an eight-month-old girl.”
Surveillance video shows Gonzalez being cuffed as he pleaded with officers about his wifeCredit: Youngs Asian Massage
Gonzalez says he’s left to raise their 8-month-old baby while taking care of funeral arrangementsCredit: Facebook
Now Gonzalez says he has to raise the child alone while dealing with funeral arrangements.
“What I am going to do?” Gonzalez asked. “I do not have anything, I cannot adjust my work with that … we both worked to get ahead,” he added. “I have nothing.”
“It is not fair for a man like that to kill her and to then go free after a while,” said Gonzalez of Long.
He asked authorities “to do something,” adding anything would ease his pain.
“Get justice, make him pay,” he said of Long, who killed eight people, including six Asian women at three parlors in the greater Atlanta area.
Long then tried to flee to Florida to continue shooting into porn-industry locations before police caught him 150 miles south of Atlanta.
Four of the eight victims hav been named: Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44. Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was injured but survived.
Cherokee police, which responded to the crime, are facing plenty of backlash for saying Long said it was not a hate crime. Atlanta police have said “nothing is off the table.”
“That man needs to pay the death penalty at a minimum,” Gonzalez said. “How many people did he murder?”
“That’s not fair, something has to be done.”