DALLAS (AP) – The girlfriend of a man arrested in Dallas on Tuesday in a shooting that injured three women in a hair salon in the Korean quarter of the city told police he had entered health centers because he had delusions about Asian Americans, according to a statement sworn arrest warrant.
Jeremy Theron Smith, 37, faces three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to chain records.
The FBI said Tuesday it has opened a federal hate crime investigation along with Texas federal prosecutors and the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division. Police Chief Eddie Garcia is expected to release additional information about the arrest on Tuesday.
Smith, who is Black, is incarcerated and no bail has been set. Prison records do not indicate a lawyer for him.
According to the affidavit obtained by The Dallas Morning News, Smith’s girlfriend told authorities that whenever Smith is around an Asian-American, “he begins to have illusions that the Asian mafia is behind him or trying to harm him.”
The newspaper reports that she told detectives that she has been having delusions about Asian Americans since she was involved in a car accident about two years ago with a man of Asian descent. She said she was also fired for “verbally assaulting” her boss, who was of Asian descent.
Garcia said last Wednesday’s shooting at the Hair World Salon could be related to two previous shootings at Asian-American-run companies.
Dallas FBI spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said officers are working with city police “to thoroughly investigate this incident,” but could not provide further information because the investigation is ongoing.
The shooting in Dallas took place a few days before a white gunman killed 10 blacks on Saturday in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and a gunman who authorities said was motivated by political hatred of Taiwan killed one person and injured five on Sunday in a Southern California. church where most Taiwanese elders had gathered.
Dallas officials said a man dressed in black opened fire on the living room and then walked out of the mall in a maroon van. Garcia said investigators found a similar vehicle was involved in two other recent shootings. Someone opened fire on a walk on April 2 near the hall and Garcia said the van was also linked to a May 10 shooting about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of there. No one was injured in any of the shootings.
The three women who were shot in the living room on Wednesday were taken to a hospital with injuries that do not endanger their lives.
Jane Bae, the daughter of one of the injured women, told The Associated Press last week that her mother said she did not recognize the gunman who quietly entered the living room, opened fire and left.
“He was calm. He approached him and then he stood there, he didn’t walk, but he stood there and fired like 20 shots and then he came out calm,” said Bae, who was not there but had spoken to his mother.
The salon is in the heart of Koreatown, located in a part of the city that was transformed in the 1980s from an industrial area to a thriving district with shops, restaurants, markets, doctor’s offices and beauty salons.
Anti-Asian violence has increased greatly in recent years. Last year, six women of Asian descent were among the eight killed in a shooting at massage parlors in and around Atlanta, raising anger and fear among Asian-Americans.
The man arrested in a Dallas shooting had delusions centered in Asia
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