Police in Dallas arrested a suspect early Tuesday linked to a shooting at a hair salon last week that injured three women of Korean descent.
An FBI spokesperson also confirmed that the Dallas FBI Field Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District in Texas, and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Department have launched a federal hate crime investigation.
According to the Dallas Police Twitter account, the suspect has been identified as 36-year-old Jeremy Theron Smith, according to an arrest warrant affidavit submitted by police.
Smith is accused of entering The Hair World salon in downtown Koreatown on May 11 and shooting at people inside, injuring the owner, a barber and a customer.
The women were taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Smith is being detained in a Dallas County jail on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, prison records show.
According to the Dallas Police Twitter account, Police Chief Eddie Garcia said investigators were looking into a possible connection between the hair salon shooting and other hate crimes against Asian Americans, which occurred recently in the area. Garcia said a red or red-coloured vehicle was seen at all three crime sites.
In a report released last August, the FBI said there were 279 anti-Asian incidents in 2020, up 77% from 2019.
Garcia also said police would increase security measures and the number of patrol officers deployed in city areas with large Asian American communities.
The shooting is one of many following a rise in attacks and violence against Asian Americans across the country during the 2-year-old COVID-19 pandemic.
Some information about this report has been received from Reuters and NBC News.
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