- See related: Lind family statement issued Tuesday and a family press conference Tuesday at the Stone Bank Fire Department
Keith Hanson had watched his daughter, Maelyn Lind, fight her way through financial trouble and work three jobs to support her four children.
He had seen her inner strength and compassion.
So Hanson wasn't surprised when he learned from coworkers and police that his daughter, 38, had risked her own life to save a fellow Azana Salon & Spa employee from a gunman. He believes that fellow employee was Yasmeen Daniel, the daughter of Zina Haughton, 42, the principal target in Sunday's shooting and Lind's close friend.
"Maelyn had stepped in front of the gun and took the bullet when he was going to shoot her," Hanson told Patch on Monday.
"My daughter is an angel," he said, his voice choking with emotion. "She took a bullet for her friend’s daughter."
Lind, Haughton and a third coworker, Cary Robuck, 35, of Racine, all died at the spa shortly after it opened Sunday morning. Brookfield police say they were gunned down by Haughton's husband, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, of Brown Deer, whom Zina was preparing to divorce and against whom she had obtained a restraining order days before after domestic violence issues escalated.
Hanson said his daughter and his wife, Marsha, knew about the Haughtons' tensions.
"Marsha told her (Lind), 'You better be careful' – and oh my God, here it happened," Hanson said.
Daughter worked hard to get ahead
Hanson said Lind grew up in Oconomowoc, attending St. Paul Lutheran Church and then graduating from Arrowhead High School and Erik's of Norway, where she finished in the top five of her cosmetology class.
She and her husband Tim had four children, a daughter, 19, and three sons, 17, 13 and 11. They have two new grandchildren, a grandson born in August and granddaughter born in September.
"She was my baby for 38 years," her father said. "I have four beautiful grandkids from her, and now I have a great grandson. She was just aglow about it."
Maelyn Lind had worked for Lake Country Hair Design and had many of her own clients whom she cared for in her several homes over the years. Hanson, a contractor, had helped her build salon spaces in those homes. About 16 years ago, he built her a brand new house, right next door to him and his wife.
His daughter had run into financial problems in recent years, trying to live higher than her lifestyle, he said, in part to keep up an image with her Azana clients. She ultimately had to file for bankruptcy and was working hard to dig out of it, with her parents' help.
She was working three jobs, including long hours at Azana, for other local clients she had had for years and as a part-time secretary at her father's shop.
But she still made time for her children and parents, whom she loved dearly.
"I don’t know how we’re going to make it through this without her," her father said.
Co-workers, community show support
Hanson said he was overwhelmed by the "massive outpouring of friendship" from Azana staff who have reached out to Lind's family. Donations for the Lind family can be sent to BMO Harris Bank, 1433 Pabst Farm Circle in Oconomowoc.
Hanson and the Linds' 19-year-old daughter Kaela plan to speak at a conference Tuesday afternoon at Stone Bank Elementary School in Oconomowoc. [UPDATE: the conference has been changed to 7:30 p.m. at the Stone Bank Fire Department, W335 N7107 Stone Bank Road.]
"She said it’s what her mother would have wanted," Hanson said, "so I agreed."
- See related: St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran held a vigil Monday night in memory of Lind, with a video report by WISN-TV (Channel 12).