NEWSMarch 20, 2021

Remembering Xiaojie Tan, a Victim in the Atlanta Spa Shootings Who Was Murdered a Day Before Her 50th Birthday

She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.

On Wednesday, Xiaojie Tan would’ve gathered with her family to celebrate her 50th birthday, eating slices of strawberry fresh cream cake, her favorite. She would’ve spent the day with her daughter, whom she was best friends with, to celebrate all of her accomplishments, making a life in the United States, building a family, and launching two businesses.

All of this was taken away when a gunman broke into Young’s Asian Massage, the massage parlor that XIaojie owned and opened fire, killing her and three others before going to kill four other people in two other spas. A small candlelight vigil was held Thursday night to honor the memories of her and the other victims in the devastating shooting.

USA Today /

When describing her mother, Xiaojie’s daughter Jami said, “She did everything for me and for the family. She provided everything. She worked every day, 12 hours a day, so that me and our family would have a better life.”

USA Today /

Xiaojie dedicated herself to her work and to serving her customers as best she could. Customers described as the “nicest, kindest, and sweetest person.” One said, “She was the sweetest person you’d ever meet. My heart was in my throat the second I heard of it. It still doesn’t seem real.”

But despite her dedication to her business, she always left ample time to spend time with family. Michael Webb, her ex-husband said, “She’d always say, ‘We family.’ Even when we got divorced she’d say that: ‘ We family.’ Because that’s how she was.”

Xiaojie’s family in China was gathering to celebrate her 50th birthday when they heard the news. They couldn’t bear to tell Xiaojie’s mother about her passing, worried that it would make her sick. Instead, they cut a cake and called Jami, “She kept asking to talk to my mom. We told my grandma that my mom lost her phone and couldn’t answer.”

USA Today /

Outside of family, Xiaojie was also obsessed with travel, constantly asking new customers about their travel experiences. When she heard of a new location or country, she’d add it to her retirement wish list of places to visit. But now she’ll never be able to.

We ask that you please remember XIaojie and all the other victims in this tragic shooting.

Please visit this link for ways that you can help stop Anti-Asian racism.

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