A shooting at a Dallas hair salon that injured three women of Korean descent may be part of a string of shootings targeting Asian businesses, police said Friday.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said a similar vehicle was used in three recent shootings, including Wednesday’s attack at a hair salon described as Korean-owned in which the women were injured but survived.
The precise motive in the shootings was unknown, though Garcia indicated this was now a hate crime investigation. Detectives were working to see if there was a ballistics match for all three attacks.
If the root of the attacks turns out to be hate, Garcia said, “It has no place here.”
In the first two attacks, characterized by Garcia as drive-by shootings that appeared to target Asian American businesses, witnesses described a red or burgundy minivan or vehicle — similar to the maroon minivan described at Wednesday’s shooting.
Those first two shootings happened April 2 and May 10. In the latter, three people were nearby when gunfire rang out, but they were not injured, Garcia said.
Wednesday’s shooting, just a few addresses away on Royal Lane from the first attack in the Northwest Dallas neighborhood, was different: A suspect entered a business and opened fire, striking the three victims, police said.
Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said earlier the three sustained injuries to their extremities and were hospitalized with non-life threatening wounds.
NBC Dallas Fort-Worth reported the salon is Korean-owned and described the victims as its owner, an employee and a customer —all people of Korean heritage.
Garcia said he has notified the FBI, the region’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Dallas mayor’s hate crimes task force.
Garcia said trailers equipped with security cameras would be strategically located, and that extra and highly visible patrols will be deployed to areas known for their Asian American businesses and residents.
Police are also working with other departments in North Texas to determine if any other shootings appear to be similar, Garcia said.
The attacks come at a time of skyrocketing hate crime against people of Asian ancestry.
A coalition of more than 50 Asian American nonprofit organizations announced this week they’re organizing a multicultural march at the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., for June 25.
Rising anti-Asian hate crime was among the topics for the demonstration.
Last week a report by a number of Asian American advocacy groups found more Americans are now blaming Asian Americans for Covid-19 than at the height of the pandemic in 2021.