‘This is a hate crime,’ Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia says of Korean Lounge shooting

At 3:38 a.m. Tuesday, the Dallas Police Department announced on Twitter that they had arrested a suspect they believe was responsible for a shooting that injured three Korean women at a hair salon a week earlier. .

Shortly after 2 p.m., Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia told a news conference that officers were able to locate the suspect, Jeremy Smith, by matching his vehicle, a red Honda minivan, to to that seen in surveillance footage.

Smith, 37, is being held in the Dallas County Jail on $300,000 bail and faces three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Dallas County arrest records.

During the investigation, Garcia said on Tuesday, Smith’s girlfriend told detectives that Smith had become paranoid about people of Asian descent after a car accident with an Asian man two years ago. (He “had been under the illusion that the Asian mob was after him or trying to harm him,” his girlfriend also said, according to an arrest warrant.)

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Jeremy Smith, 37, is accused of shooting three women in an attack on a Korean hair salon.

Dallas County Jail

“As I’ve said before, hate has no place in our city,” Garcia said at the press conference, adding that additional patrols and security cameras have been placed in the neighborhood around the salon.

“It’s a hate crime,” Garcia said. The shootings come at a time when hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have increased across the country.

Later in the conference, when asked again if enhancements for hate crimes would be applied to charges, Garcia said, “I’m not going to go into detail.”

Earlier in the day, the FBI and Justice Department said they had opened a federal hate crimes investigation into the shooting, The New York Times reported. “We are in close communication with the Dallas police and are partnering to fully investigate this incident,” Dallas FBI spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said. Time.

Garcia also noted that police have yet to determine if Smith was involved in two other shootings: one in Oak Cliff on Tuesday and another at the same mall as the barbershop on April 2.

All three victims are in “stable and recovering condition,” Garcia added.

In 2021, hate crimes rose 39% in 37 major US cities, according to preliminary data collected by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

In 21 of those cities, anti-Asian hate crimes had increased by approximately 223%. (In Dallas, however, the number of recorded hate crimes rose from 40 to 33, according to the data.)

On Friday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he wanted “our city’s Asian American community – which has horribly faced an increase in vitriol in recent years – to know that the City of Dallas and the people of Dallas are on their side.”

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