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The suspect who opened fire inside a Korean-owned hair salon in northwest Dallas and left three women wounded on Wednesday has been arrested.
Jeremy Theron Smith, 37, was arrested on three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday morning.
Smith reportedly parked his vehicle at the 2200 block of Royal Lane before walking into Hair World Salon and firing 13 shots with a .22-caliber rifle at around 2:20 p.m. on May 11.
The suspect injured three Korean American victims, including the salon’s owner, an employee and a customer before fleeing the scene in a red Honda Odyssey minivan.
Investigators traced Smith’s vehicle to a house in the 1200 block of Whispering Trail, which they later identified as the home of Smith’s girlfriend.
The woman told police that Smith had been admitted to health facilities due to his “delusions” about Asian Americans, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. She said that Smith was involved in a car crash with an Asian driver about two years ago and has since “had near panic attacks when he is around anyone of Asian descent” and “delusions that the Asian mob is after him or attempting to harm him.”
Smith’s girlfriend also noted that he was fired from a job at a beauty supply warehouse after “verbally attacking” his Asian boss.
He did not admit to the shooting, but he reportedly admitted to being in the area where the shooting occurred. Smith told police that he was searching for a place to replace a broken pane of glass from a garage door. He also admitted to owning the red minivan, a .380-caliber handgun and a .22-caliber rifle.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the shooting could be linked to two other shootings at separate businesses run by Asian Americans.
Garcia added that investigators found a similar vehicle involved in a drive-by shooting on April 2 in the same area. Another drive-by shooting on May 10 occurred southeast of the shopping center where Wednesday’s shooting took place, according to Garcia.
The FBI and local Texas authorities are working with the Dallas police on the hate crime investigation for the three shootings.
“The possibility that we are dealing with a violent gunman who is motivated by hate is chilling and deeply disturbing,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said.
Smith is currently being held at the Dallas County jail. His bond has not been set yet.
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Featured image via WFAA