Police search for shooter who shot dead three Korean women at hair salon in Texas

A search is underway for a suspect who opened fire at a Dallas hair salon and injured three Korean women inside before fleeing on Wednesday, police say.

Dallas police responded to the Hair World Salon at 2216 Royal Lane at 2:20 p.m. local time in an area called the Asian Trade District, known as the city’s Koreatown.

The suspect, described as a black man dressed in black, entered the business and began shooting, striking the three women, police said in a Press release.

NBC Dallas Fort Worth reports that the salon is a Korean company and that all of the victims – the owner, an employee and a customer – were Korean women.

The motive for the shooting has not yet been confirmed. Police Sergeant. Warren Mitchell told a news conference on Wednesday that investigators had no indication the shooting was a hate crime, but were not ruling it out.

The victims were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said. Mitchell said the women were apparently all shot in the extremities.

The suspect left the scene in a brown van, police said.

Law enforcement shared still CCTV footage of the suspect, appearing to be holding a large rifle-like weapon, and the vehicle he left.

Police are asking for help in identifying and locating the suspect.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The investigation is ongoing and the FBI has been called in to assist with the investigation.

Police assure the public that the suspect will be found.

“It just brings additional fear into this community, and we want to make sure we’re doing what we can to alleviate their fear,” Mitchell said.

While it’s unclear whether the incident was a hate crime, it comes at a time when the country has seen an increase in hate crimes against the Asian American community amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A report by the Center for the Study of Hatred and Extremism found that anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States increased by 339% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

Wednesday’s salon shooting recalls the Atlanta-area spa shootings in March 2021 when a gunman entered three separate spas, killing eight people, including six Asian women.

After this attack, President Joe Biden unveiled his efforts to address anti-Asian violence, and in May 2021, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was signed into law. The legislation directs the Justice Department to expedite the review of Covid-19 related hate crimes reported to law enforcement, establish ways to report such incidents online and raise public awareness.

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