Police in Dallas arrested a suspect early Tuesday who is linked to a shooting last week at a hair salon that left three women of Korean descent wounded.
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 Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice have opened a federal hate crime investigation.
The suspect was identified as Jeremy Theron Smith, 36, according to an arrest warrant affidavit submitted by the police, according to the Dallas Police Twitter account.
Smith is accused of entering The Hair World Salon in the city’s Koreatown on May 11 and opening fire on the people inside, injuring the owner, a hairdresser on duty and a client.
The women were rushed to a hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Smith is being detained in a Dallas County jail on three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, jail records show.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said investigators were looking into a possible connection between the hair salon shooting and other hate crimes against Asian Americans that recently took place in the area, according to the Dallas Police Twitter account. Garcia said a maroon or red vehicle had been spotted at all three crime scenes.
In a report released last August, the FBI said 279 anti-Asian incidents were reported in 2020, up 77% from 2019.
Garcia also said police will be increasing security measures and the number of patrol officers stationed in areas of the city with large Asian American communities.
The shooting is one of several following a surge in attacks and violence against Asian Americans across the country during the 2-year-old COVID-19 pandemic.
Some information for this report came from Reuters and NBC News.