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'There may be a link to hate,' DPD Chief Garcia now says about Korean salon shooting

Dallas police have linked the latest shooting to two other recent shootings against Asian-run businesses in Dallas, Garcia said at Friday press conference.

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department held a press conference Friday afternoon to give an update on a Korean salon shooting, stating they have connected the incident to two other recent shootings of Asian-run businesses.  

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the shooting was connected to an April 2 shooting, when a vehicle drove past a strip mall of Asian-run businesses at 2208 Royal Lane and fired upon three businesses, but no one was injured. 

One other May 10 shooting was connected to the latest shooting, Garcia added, where a suspect in a burgundy van shot into Asian-run businesses near 4849 Sunnyvale Street. Three people were in the back part of the building but were uninjured.

In response to this series of shootings, Garcia said the department has reached out to partner agencies to make them aware and has asked for assistance from agencies, including the FBI and member agencies of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The Dallas Police Department will also be using camera trailers in certain areas and increasing patrols in areas of Asian communities. He added that the department had scheduled a Korean-American safety town hall meeting early next week.

Garcia now says there "may be a link to hate" in regards to the latest shooting. 

"Hate has no place here," Garcia said.

Just 24 hours ago, Garcia said police could “confidently” say hate was not the motivating factor.

“At this point we can’t responsibly say that hate was a factor, because our investigation is telling us that it is not,” Garcia said Thursday.

The department activated a task force to investigate, Garcia said, and officers discovered the crime was motivated by “different factors” that had nothing to do with a hate crime.

“If there were a nexus to hate we certainly would be conducting outreach to make sure our community knows and it’s important our community realizes that,” Garcia said.

Around 2 p.m., May 11, officers responded to the shooting at Hair World Salon in the 2200 block of Royal Lane -- an address located within an area known as a historically Asian district known as Koreatown in Dallas. 

People on the scene said that when officers arrived, they found three women suffering from injuries. They were transported from the scene with non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to be OK, police said.

Police said the suspect was dressed in all black when he walked inside the salon and fired several rounds. 

They said he got away in a maroon/red-colored minivan.

A $5,000 reward for information that leads to the suspect’s arrest and indictment is being offered. Anyone with information regarding the crime should contact detectives at 214-671-3523. 

Increased security

With news of these shootings, police in Carrollton told WFAA that the department will be increasing patrols at Asian shopping centers and churches this weekend.

"We are on high alert," a police spokesperson said.

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