Suspect in Dallas salon May shooting indicted for anti-Asian hate crime

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A man accused of shooting three Asian American women at a Dallas hair salon was indicted Tuesday on multiple counts, including committing a hate crime and aggravated assault.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of Jeremy Smith, 37, for the May 11 shooting at a salon in Dallas' Koreatown. Smith is alleged of entering the establishment, firing 13 shots from a .22-caliber rifle, injuring three women and endangering four others.

Smith is charged with seven counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, each with a hate-crime enhancement and punishable by five years to life in prison. He remains in the Dallas County jail with bonds totaling $700,000.

"Smith is alleged to have intentionally selected the complainants because of his bias or prejudice against Asian Americans," according to the statement.

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Texas federal prosecutors, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division partnered together for a federal hate crime investigation into Smith.

According to a police arrest warrant affidavit, Smith’s girlfriend told authorities that Smith “begins having delusions that the Asian mob is after him or attempting to harm him” whenever he is around an Asian American and had been admitted to several mental health facilities due to his delusions.

Smith’s girlfriend told detectives that Smith has had these delusions since being involved in a car crash about two years ago with a man of Asian descent, according to the affidavit. She said he was also fired for “verbally attacking” his boss, who was of Asian descent.

Over recent years, anti-Asian violence has sharply increased — intensifying fear and anger among Asian Americans.

Last year, six women of Asian descent were among the eight killed in a shooting at massage businesses in and near Atlanta. Earlier this month, a West Texas man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attacking an Asian family outside a Midland, Texas, department store in 2020 because he thought they were Chinese and therefore responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contributing: Ashley R. Williams, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dallas Koreatown salon shooting: Suspect charged for hate crime