FBI opens hate crime investigation into Dallas salon shooting

FBI opens hate crime investigation into Dallas salon shooting
Suspect arrested following Koreatown shooting that police believe may be connected to others

The FBI’s Dallas field office and the US Department of Justice have opened a hate crime investigation following the shooting of three Korean women in a hair salon in Texas.

A suspect is in custody following the shooting at Hair World Salon in Dallas on 11 May. Federal law enforcement – including US attorneys and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division – have opened a federal probe, according to a statement from the FBI on 17 May.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia has said the shootings may be connected to other recent shootings involving Asian-run businesses in the city.

Last week, a gunman stepped out of a dark-coloured minivan near the salon in a predominantly Korean business area, entered the building and opened fire, striking three women who were transported to nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

News of a suspect’s arrest came during a town hall meeting on 16 May with members of the city’s Asian community and Dallas police during which two of the shooting victims – the salon’s owner and an employee – were also present.

“Hate has no place in this city,” Chief Garcia said at the town hall.

Police have potentially connected the shooting to a pair of recent shootings in the area. On 2 April, a person in a car fired at three businesses near a strip mall of Asian-run businesses. No one was injured.

Another shooting on 10 May involved a similar minivan. Three people were inside an Asian-run business when a person inside the car fired into the building, but none were injured.

The suspect’s arrest and hate crime investigation also follow the killings of 10 people in a predominantly Black neighbourhood in a Buffalo, New York grocery store on 14 May in the gunman’s apparent racist massacre intended to target nonwhite people.

On 15 May, a gunman killed one person and wounded five others inside a Taiwanese church service in Laguna Woods in southern California, in an attack motivated by hate for Taiwanese people, according to police.

Jane Bae, the daughter of one of the wounded women in the Dallas shooting, told The Associated Press last week that her mother told her that a suspect had calmy walked into the business and “stood there” before firing several rounds and then “calmly” walked out.

The salon in Dallas’ Koreatown, which has been transformed into a shopping district with restaurants, markets and salons in recent decades, was among the latest targets in a wave of anti-Asian violence that has spiked within recent months.

Last year, six Asian women were among eight people killed in a shooting at massage businesses near Atlanta, Georgia.