Hate crime investigation launched in Dallas salon shooting

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On May 11, Jeremy Theron Smith, 36, stopped his car in the right lane on the west side of 2200 Royal Lane, crossed the street, entered Hair World Salon, a Korean-owned business, with a gun .22 caliber and started shooting. , says the affidavit.

He fired about 13 times, hitting three people before running back to his vehicle and fleeing, according to the affidavit.

One person was shot in the right forearm, another in the foot and another in the lower back, the affidavit states.

Authorities have surveillance video of a man who matches the complainants’ description running towards a vehicle, the affidavit states. The affidavit describes the vehicle seen on surveillance video as a red Honda Odyssey van.

On May 13, undercover agents began monitoring Smith’s vehicle, and on Monday Smith was stopped for questioning and his vehicle was seized.

Smith read her Miranda warning and, according to the affidavit, agreed to speak to the police without an attorney present.

CNN was unable to determine if Smith had legal representation at the time of publication and could not reach him for comment.

Smith said he was in the area of ​​the shooting at the time, the affidavit states, adding that he had two firearms – a .380 handgun and a .22″ caliber rifle that looks like to an “AK-47″” and he was the only person with access to his vehicle. A .380 handgun magazine containing four live ammunition was found in the suspect’s pocket during his arrest.

On May 16, a search warrant for Smith’s vehicle was executed and police found a cell phone, a Jimenez .380 handgun, a firearm magazine with four live rounds and a box of Winchester ammunition. .380 with six live cartridges, the affidavit states.

Police questioned Smith’s girlfriend who told them that Smith had been involved in a car accident about two years ago with an Asian man, and since then Smith “has had near-panic attacks when he’s with someone of asian descent. Whenever the suspect (Smith) is around anyone of Asian descent, he begins to have delusions that the Asian mob is after him or trying to harm him. Due to these delusions, the suspect was admitted to several mental health facilities,” according to the affidavit.

CNN has reached out to Smith’s girlfriend for more details, but has yet to respond.

The affidavit also alleges Smith was fired from a previous job for verbally attacking an Asian boss.

Smith was booked Tuesday, according to Dallas County inmate records and is currently in the Dallas County Jail, according to the affidavit.

Federal authorities have opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting.

The FBI Dallas Field Office, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas jointly announced the hate crimes investigation in a statement late Monday.

“We are in close communication with Dallas Police and are partnering to fully investigate this incident. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time,” the agencies said.

“Based on what was sent to our office, there is more than enough to warrant prosecuting this as a hate crime,” Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot said Tuesday.

At a press conference on Tuesday, police said they believed there was a link between the three recent attacks on Asian-run businesses.

“There was a connection between these shootings in that a brown or red vehicle was being driven by the unknown suspect,” Dallas Police Chief Edgardo Garcia said. “At this time, there have been no arrests in these cases as more work or investigation needs to be done before Smith can be charged in these cases.”

A day before the shooting at the barbershop, a suspect in a burgundy van or car drove by and fired at an Asian-run business, police said; three people present at the time were not injured. And on April 2, a vehicle described by witnesses as a red van drove past a mall of Asian-run businesses and fired on three businesses, Garcia said at the time.

The arrest comes amid a steady rise in reported hate crimes against Asian Americans and as more details emerge of a deadly weekend attack at a New York supermarket that authorities say , is the latest in a series of hate-motivated mass shootings in the United States.

The possibility that the shootings were motivated by hate is “chilling and deeply disturbing,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said Friday.

“I want our city’s Asian American community – which has been horribly confronted with increasing vitriol in recent years – to know that the City of Dallas and the people of Dallas stand with them,” he said. he said in a statement.

Dallas police last week described the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting as “a black male,” about 5ft 7in to 5ft 10in tall, “with a slim build, shoulder-length curly hair and a beard. connected”.

“To protect our community, we will be using camera trailers in certain areas and each patrol station has been asked to increase visibility patrols in our Asian community areas,” Garcia said. “Most importantly, we look to everyone in the City of Dallas to keep an eye out and protect our city. Hate has no place here.”

CNN’s Andy Rose, Paradise Afshar and Raja Razek contributed to this report.

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