Hyun Jung Grant was one of eight people killed by a man who attacked a series of spas in the Atlanta area on Tuesday. She was also a single mother of two boys, who are now picking up the pieces.
Randy Park, her eldest son, says he is now left with the responsibility of planning for his mom’s funeral and taking care of his younger brother. The 22-year-old started a GoFundMe page with a goal of $20,000 for rent, food, bills and other expenses, and in the two days since the fundraiser was posted, it has amassed more than $2.4 million.
“Frankly, I have no time to grieve,” he wrote on the fundraiser website. “It is only my brother and I in the United States. The rest of my family is in South Korea and are unable to come.”
Grant was among six Asian women who were shot and killed in Tuesday’s attack. Officials said the suspect claimed the shootings were not racially motivated and saw the spas as a temptation that he wanted to eliminate.
The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, has been charged with eight counts of murder. The shootings have not been ruled out as a hate crime.
The other victims are Delaina Ashley Yaun, Yong Ae Yue, Suncha Kim, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park and Paul Andre Michels.
Park said his mom was not only one of his best friends, but also “the strongest influence on who we are today.”
“Losing her has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world. As much as I want to grieve and process the reality that she is gone, I have a younger brother to take care of and matters to resolve as a result of this tragedy,” he said. “…I will need to figure out the living situation for my brother and I for the next few months, possibly year.”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Park said his mom always found a way to enjoy life, even though she worked “almost every day.”
“She loved me and my brother enough to work for us, to dedicate her whole life,” he told the Associated Press. “That’s enough.”
Park said on GoFundMe that his biggest priority is putting his mother to rest, but that because of legal issues, he hasn’t been able to obtain her body. He told the Associated Press that even though his mom’s legal last name was Grant, that name was from a marriage long ago, and he is now struggling to find paperwork showing that he is the true next of kin.
He said has to figure out the details of this situation, he said, while having two weeks to find a new, cheaper place for him and his brother to live.
By Saturday afternoon, Park’s fundraiser had been shared more than 64,000 times, with donations from more than 62,000 people.
“I don’t know how any word I write here will ever convey how grateful and blessed I am to receive this much support,” he wrote as an update on the GoFundMe page. “… And to those of you that have donated any amount of money. To put it bluntly, I can’t believe you guys exist. People I will probably never meet, hear, nor express my thanks to.”
Park said he had asked friends to help him craft his initial fundraiser description, but that his thanks are “my words uncut and unedited.”
“I will live the rest of my days grateful for what has essentially given my family a second chance,” he said. “I can’t help but feel selfish for all the attention this has garnered. …This doesn’t represent even a fragment of how I feel. My mother can rest easy knowing I have the support of the world with me.”
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