The lone survivor of a sex-addicted gunman’s rampage at three Atlanta-area spas desperately called his wife for help before passing out from his wounds, according to a report.
“I have been shot! Please come!” Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz urged his wife, Flor Gonzalez, in the frantic phone call, Gonzalez recalled Wednesday to The Washington Post. “I need you!”
Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, was wounded in his forehead, throat, lungs and stomach after Robert Aaron Long, 21, allegedly opened fire outside Young’s Asian Massage near Woodstock, Ga. just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, authorities have said.
Long — who, according to investigators, has admitted to the attacks — killed four people at that parlor, then drove to the Atlanta suburb of Buckhead, where he shot up another two spas, killing an additional four people between them, police have said.
Hernandez-Ortiz was the only surviving victim.
It’s believed that the auto repair shop owner was heading to a store next to Young’s Asian Massage to wire money back to family in his native Guatemala when he crossed Long’s path, Gonzalez told The Washington Post.
As soon as she got the call, Gonzalez, 27, grabbed the couple’s 9-year-old daughter, Yoseline, and rushed to the scene, where she saw her husband lying on the ground, amid a sea of first responders.
“It was the most horrible thing,” she told The Washington Post. “I just can’t understand why anyone would do something like this.”
Long, who faces eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault, has said that he suffers from sex addiction and was seeking to “eliminate” the “temptation” he felt from the spas, which he may have previously frequented, police have said.
Six of the eight fatal victims were Asian women, but Long has said that he was not motivated by racial hate, according to police, who are yet to reach a formal conclusion.
The next time Gonzalez saw her husband, he was in a hospital bed, fighting for his life.
“He came from nothing and has come a long way; that is why I have faith he will survive this,” she told The Washington Post. “He is strong and optimistic, and that should help him get through this.”
Despite the severity of his injuries, doctors are optimistic that Hernandez-Ortiz will survive.
He squeezed a doctor’s hand when asked to, and similarly responded when Gonzalez talked to him.
“I know he was hearing what I was saying because he moved and because I told him his daughter was waiting for her dad at home and that her 10th birthday is coming up soon,” she said, adding that she’s protecting the couple’s daughter from the truth about her dad’s injuries. “I keep telling her he promised me he will be all right.”
Gonzalez is holding on to hope that her husband will recover, recalling how he used to describe himself.
He would say “that nothing and no one could make him fall apart or take him down,” she recalled. “This is the time for you to prove that to me, this is the time for you to show me and get over this.”
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