DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas police chief took a surprising turn today and now says that shooting three employees of a hair salon from the Asian community could very well be a hate crime.
That revelation has added a further sense of urgency to finding whoever was responsible for Wednesday’s attack.
We’ve seen two Dallas PD patrol cars here all day and night, assigned to this Asian mall.
Today we learn that the person who opened fire on three hair salon employees this week is responsible for two drive-by shootings since last month, raising the possibility that these are targeted hate crimes.
Business has been brisk today in retail stores around the Korean Market on Royal Lane.
That’s despite the disturbing news that a gunman who shot three people this week in nearby Hair World fired his gun in this area twice previously since April 2.
It led the Dallas Police Department to suggest that the motive of the well-disguised shooter driving a maroon minivan might be targeting Asians.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia announced increased police visibility in the neighborhood. “Hate has no place here. And the moment we see it, we will take this action. We need to stop this person.”
He also plans to take other measures in case the violence is fueled by hate. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have reached out to our partners to inform them of the potential connection and ask for their assistance. This includes the FBI and member industries of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
We speak off-camera with several Asian-Americans who frequent this shopping complex and appreciate the added police presence, but say they will continue to come here and shop.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson issued a statement on May 13:
“I want our city’s Asian-American community, which has faced terrifyingly increasing hostility in recent years, to know that the city of Dallas and the people of Dallas stand with them. Hate has no place in our city. This gunman must be arrested quickly and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Police describe that gunman as a black male, 5’7 to 5’10, with a slim build with medium-length curly hair and a beard.
Dallas police are asking anyone with leads to contact Detective Timothy Johnston, #8977, at 214-671-3523 or via email.
Tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest and indictment could receive a $5,000 reward.