On Tuesday, Dallas police announced that they had arrested a suspect in connection with a hair salon shooting last week that left three women injured.
In a press conference, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia stated that 36-year-old Jeremy Theron Smith on Monday, and charged him with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The charges came in connection with a shooting at Hair World Salon on May 11, in the city’s Koreatown.
Smith allegedly entered the salon, dressed in black, and began shooting. Three females of Korean descent were injured in the shooting, but are expected to recover.
According to Garcia, Smith allegedly shot around 13 times before before fleeing.
Police were able to track down the suspects vehicle due to surveillance records.
During the press conference, Garcia said that "During our investigation, detectives learned that two years ago. Smith had a motor vehicle crash with an Asian male. Since this crash, Smith has had panic attacks and delusions when he is around anyone of Asian descent."
Garcia noted that the investigation is still ongoing.
He also noted that "we also continue to investigate the two additional shootings at Asian-run businesses, one in April, and other in May. There was a connection between those shootings in that a maroon or red vehicle was driven by the unknown suspect. At this time, there have been no arrests on those cases, as more work or investigation needs to be done before Smith can be charged in those cases."
When asked whether the shooting was a hate crime or an issue of mental health, Garcia said:
"Right now it's an issue of hate — it's a hate crime," Garcia said. "However that manifests itself, I'm not here to say that; I can tell you that I know our community sees it as a hate crime, I see it as a hate crime and so do our men and women."
According to NBC News, who viewed Smith’s arrest warrant, he had been fired from a previous job after verbally attacking his boss of Asian descent.
The warrant stated that because of these decisions, Smith had been admitted to several mental health facilities in the past.
Smith said he was in the area of Royal Lane the day of the shooting “looking for a business that could replace a broken pane of glass from a garage door,” the arrest warrant said.
Police seized during search warrant executed after his arrest on his vehicle a handgun, magazine, and ammunition.
The FBI has announced that it has opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting, according to NBC News.