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A man suspected of wounding three Korean women in a Dallas hair salon during a shooting authorities are investigating as a hate crime was arrested Tuesday and is suspected in a recent string of shootings at or near Asian businesses, authorities said.
Jeremy Smith, 37, was booked into the Dallas County jail and is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He allegedly walked into the Hair World Salon on May 11 and opened fire on the seven people inside with a .22 caliber rifle, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia told reporters.
Smith got off 13 shots before fleeing into a minivan, he said.
“We believe the shooting was intentional,” said Garcia. “The actions and the investigation has revealed to us that this was motivated by hate.”
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One victim was shot in the foot, another in the lower back and the third in the right forearm, Garcia said. They are expected to recover.
The FBI said it is investigating the shooting as a hate crime. Surveillance video captured Smith’s van with specific details and determined it to be a 2004 Honda Odyssey, authorities said.
An arrest warrant affidavit said Smith drove the minivan with a paper license plate that matched several of the numbers seen by witnesses. He also admitted to being in the area on the day of the shooting, Fox Dallas reported. A vehicle crash that occurred two years ago with an Asian male resulted in him having panic attacks and “delusions” when around people of Asian descent, Garcia said.
Smith was also fired from his previous job at an Ulta Beauty warehouse for attacking his Asian boss, the document states.
He was brought in for questioning by investigators on unrelated charges when he was taken into custody for the shooting, Garcia said. A search of his van yielded a handgun, a magazine and ammunition, police said.
Garcia said investigators are looking into whether Smith was involved in two other shootings targeting Asian businesses that occurred in April and May. No arrests have been made in those incidents. The suspect was driving a minivan similar to Smith’s vehicle, Garcia said.