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'People are afraid of coming out,' Asian activist says as suspect in possible hate crime-related shootings in Dallas remains at large

"Whether it's hate-related or unrelated still people are getting hurt and businesses are getting hurt. People are afraid of coming out," said Jonas Park.

DALLAS — Jonas Park stood outside the shops in Koreatown in Dallas holding a sign that reads, "Stop Asian Hate." Park, who is with Stop Asian Hate Dallas, stood just feet from Hair World Salon in the 2200 block of Royal Lane where three women were shot Tuesday.

"I was really hoping that I wouldn't have to see this sign again," said Park.

He had mixed feelings Friday after Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia ultimately confirmed what Jonas had feared: that a rash of shootings was racially motivated.

The hair salon shooting is now connected to two drive-by shootings of Asian-run shops. At China Wok in southern Dallas, the manager tells WFAA two bullets pierced the walls. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

On Friday, Garcia said the common denominator in all three cases is a red minivan. No arrests have been made in the case. DPD says it's stepped up patrols and installed camera trailers in mostly Asian marketplaces.

"Whether it's hate related or unrelated, still people are getting hurt and businesses are getting hurt. People are afraid of coming out," said Park.

On Thursday, Garcia was adamant race and hate had no connection to the salon shooting. That changed Friday.

"I'm very fortunate, as opposed to not being happy we didn't link these together sooner, I'm very fortunate our hard-working men and women did put it together," said Garcia.

Park told WFAA the racial development in this case doesn't come as a surprise. He says people in the community talk and people had a hunch there was a connection. Park said it's time the Asian community starts communicating about the issues happening here. 

There's a community town hall set for 6 p.m. Monday at the Korean Cultural Center of Dallas at 11500 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75229.

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