Dallas police believe the three recent shootings at Asian-run businesses in the area may be related and may be motivated by hatred, Chief Edgardo Garcia said Friday. Press Conference.
The last shooting happened on Wednesday at a Korean-owned hair salon, police said. At the time, authorities said the suspect ran into the business, yelled something and started firing. Three women suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
“At the time, we had no signs in the investigation that this crime was motivated by hatred. That has changed since this afternoon, “the chief said on Friday.
After reviewing two other incidents, police now believe there is a connection, in part because of the suspect’s vehicle, the chief said.
In a shooting Wednesday, a witness described a suspect who ran back to a red minivan of an older model and hurried away, police said.
The day before, a suspect in a burgundy van or car drove past and shot at an Asian-run company, police said. There were three people in the building, but they were not injured.
And about a month before those incidents, on April 2, the vehicle drove past a shopping mall of Asian companies, “where three companies were shot at,” Garcia said. Witnesses described the vehicle as a red minivan, he said.
The neighborhood where the shooting took place is known as the first Korean city in the Dallas area, John Jun, vice president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Korean-American coalition chapter, told CNN.
Dallas police contacted partners, including the FBI, “out of great caution” to share their findings, and contacted other Texas agencies to determine if any other similar incidents, Garcia said Friday. .
“To protect our community, we will use camera trailers in certain areas and we have advised each patrol station to increase the visibility of patrols in areas of our Asian community,” Garcia said. “The most important thing is to appeal to every Dallas resident to watch over and protect our city. Hate has no place here. ”
Authorities are also asking for help from the community in identifying the suspect.
So far, Dallas police have described the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting as a “black man, about 5’7 to 5’10”, with a thin waist, curly, medium-long hair and a beard.
“We have to detain this person,” the chief said. “We need the help of our community.”
The police chief also said the town hall security meeting was scheduled for next week.
“We were all hoping (Wednesday shooting) for a lone incident,” Jun told CNN on Saturday. “But after the announcement by Chief of Police Garcia, we are very concerned, obviously on the brink, and hopefully the suspect will be arrested pretty soon.”
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the possibility that the shooting was motivated by hatred was “hateful and deeply disturbing.”
“I want the Asian-American community of our city – which has been horribly confronted with growing outrage in recent years – to know that the city of Dallas and the people of Dallas stand by them,” Johnson said Friday.
“There is no place for hatred in our city,” the mayor said.
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