Shooting at Dallas hair salon may have been hate crime, police chief says

DALLAS — Three women of Korean descent who were wounded at a Dallas hair salon may have been victims of a hate crime, authorities said Friday.

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A man fired several shots on Wednesday at the Hair World Salon in northwest Dallas at about 2:22 p.m. CDT, KXAS-TV reported. Two employees and a customer were injured, according to the television station. The three women were taken to an area hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. A fourth person inside the business was not injured.

Dallas police Chief Eddie Garcia had originally ruled out a hate crime on Thursday but changed his position on Friday, The Dallas Morning News reported.

At a news conference on Friday, Garcia said the department’s stance changed because of the “ongoing investigation and a consistent review of officer reports made by the department’s crime analysis unit.”

Garcia added that the shooting was connected to two other incidents. On April 2, a vehicle drove past a strip mall of Asian-run businesses and fired at three of them, WFAA-TV reported. No one was injured in that shooting.

On Tuesday, a suspect in a burgundy van shot into Asian-run businesses, Garcia said. Three people were in the building but were not hurt, according to WFAA.

The area where Wednesday’s shooting occurred is called Koreatown due to the many Korean-owned businesses there, KDFW-TV reported.

In a statement, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said that the possibility that the shooting was motivated by hate was “deeply disturbing.”

“I want our city’s Asian American community -- which has appallingly faced increasing vitriol in recent years -- to know that the City of Dallas and the people of Dallas stand with them,” Johnson said. “Hate has no place in our city.”

Lily Trieu, executive director of the Austin-based advocacy group Asian Texans for Justice, said her organization was grateful that García was listening to the community’s concerns.

“We’re relieved that all three victims are safe and in recovery, but this kind of attack makes our entire community feel unsafe,” Trieu told the Morning News.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, NBC News reported.

“We are turning to every citizen in the city of Dallas to keep an eye out and safeguard our city,” Garcia told reporters. “Hate has no place here. … If you see something, say something.”

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