DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Police chief made a startling about face today and now says the shooting of three employees of an Asian community hair salon could very well be a hate crime.
That revelation has added a greater sense of urgency to find whoever is responsible for the attack on Wednesday.
We have seen two Dallas Police patrol cars here all day and evening, assigned to this Asian shopping center.
We learned today that the person who opened fire on three employees of a hair salon this week is responsible for two drive by shootings here since last month, raising the possibility that these are targeted hate crimes.
Business has been brisk today at the retail stores around the Korean Market on Royal Lane.
That’s despite disturbing news that a gunman who shot three people this week at nearby Hair World fired his weapon 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 could be targeting Asians.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia announced increased police visibility around the neighborhood. “Hate has no place here. And so the minute we see that, we’re going to take this action. We need to get this person in custody.”
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 make them aware of the possible connection and ask for their assistance. This includes the FBI and member industries of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
We spoke off camera with a number of Asian Americans who frequent this retail complex and they welcome the added police presence, but say they will continue to come here and shop.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson released a statement on May 13:
“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. Hate has no place in our city. This gunman must be arrested swiftly and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
That gunman is described by police as a black male 5’7 to 5’10, thin build with curly medium length hair and a beard.
Dallas police are asking anyone with tips to contact Detective Timothy Johnston, #8977, at 214-671-3523 or via email.
Tips may also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest and indictment could receive a $5,000 award.
Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/dfw/news/dallas-police-increase-patrols-asian-american-businesses/