DALLAS (AP) — Police have arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting that wounded three women in a hair salon in the city’s Koreatown and federal officials have launched a hate crime investigation, authorities said Tuesday.
The suspect was being interviewed and processed, the Dallas Police Department said, and Chief Eddie Garcia was expected to release additional information about the arrest later in the day.
Garcia has said last Wednesday’s shooting at Hair World Salon could be connected to two other shootings at businesses run by Asian Americans.
Also Tuesday, the FBI said it has opened a federal hate crime investigation along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas and the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division.
“We are in close communication with Dallas Police and are partnering together to thoroughly investigate this incident,” said Dallas FBI spokeswoman Melinda Urbina. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to comment further at this time.”
The shooting in Dallas occurred a few days before a white gunman killed 10 Black people Saturday at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and a gunman authorities said was motivated by political hatred against Taiwan killed one person and wounded five Sunday at a southern California church where mostly elderly Taiwanese parishioners had gathered.
Authorities have said a man dressed all in black opened fire at the Dallas salon, then drove off in a maroon minivan. Garcia said investigators found that a similar vehicle was reported to be involved in two other recent shootings, including an April 2 drive-by in the area where the salon is located. No one was injured in either of those shootings.
Garcia said the vehicle was also linked to a drive-by shooting on May 10 about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of the shopping center where Wednesday’s shooting happened.
The three women who were shot at the salon were taken to a hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening.
Jane Bae, the daughter of one of the wounded women, told The Associated Press last week that her mother told her that the man, who she didn’t recognize, calmly walked in, opened fire and then left.
“He was calm. He just walked up to it and then stood there — didn’t walk around — but stood there and shot like 20 shots and then just calmly went out,” said Bae, who wasn’t there but had spoken with her mother.
The salon is in the heart of Koreatown, which is in a part of the city that was transformed in the 1980s from an industrial area to a thriving district with shopping, dining, markets, medical offices and salons.
Anti-Asian violence has risen sharply in recent years. Last year, six women of Asian descent were among the eight killed in a shooting at massage businesses in and near Atlanta, heightening anger and fear among Asian Americans.