Family of woman who died in spa shooting to attend State of the Union

CREATED Feb. 12, 2013

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WASHINGTON - Southeast Wisconsin suffered through two mass shootings last year, and that is why some heroes and survivors from the Milwaukee area were invited to Washington tonight.

This summer we saw the massacre at the Oak Creek Temple, then this fall it was the brutal slaying of three women at a salon in Brookfield, including Elvin Daniel's sister, Zina.

The gun debate has tragically touched Wisconsin, and now our community will play a huge part at the Capitol Tuesday. It's a role Daniel never wanted, but one he'll never give up.

On a crisp October morning, customers at the Azana Spa in Brookfield ran for cover from a hail of bullets. Radcliffe Haughton opened fire inside, killing his wife Zina and two of her co-workers before killing himself.

Zina's brother Elvin Daniel is now a staunch supporter of criminal background checks for all gun buyers.

"I am an avid hunter. I am a gun collector, I own guns and I am a proud NRA member, but I also believe in a background check,” said Daniel. “When I buy a gun, I go through it, I don't see anything wrong with that.”

The issue has brought this soft-spoken man into the spotlight and to the nation's Capitol, where he will be in the audience for President Obama's State of the Union.

“What an incredible honor that is,” Daniel said. “I'm very proud to be there."

And in his own way, he brought Zina with him.

“This is my sister,” he added. “That's why we're here.”

While the president has vowed to make his speech mainly about the economy, Daniel and his wife say this country can't afford to have another murder on its hands.

“It's accountability,” said Cheryl Daniel, Elvin’s wife. “We don't have to say you have to take everything away. The second amendment does not have to be taken away. But we have to straighten the country out and we have to stop some of the killings.”

They hope Zina's story will have a big impact, not just at home, but at the Capitol. Though, Cheryl said Zina probably wouldn't know what to do with all this attention, because she was a simple woman who didn't ask for much. Her family just ask for you to never forget her.