May 16, 2022 - News

Dallas shooting at Korean hair salon investigated as hate crime

Stop Asian Hate sign on the ground
A sign at a Texas rally in response to rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

The shooting of three women at a Korean hair salon in Dallas is being investigated as a hate crime and is believed to be connected to at least two other attacks.

Why it matters: Reports of hate crimes increased last year but hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased 339% in 2021, according to a report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Between the lines: Anti-Asian racism has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some people blaming Asians for the spread of the disease, reported Axios’ Russell Contreras and Shawna Chen.

  • More than 10,300 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander people were reported to Stop AAPI Hate between March 2020 and September 2021, and 62% of the incidents were directed at women.

What happened: A gunman dressed in black got out of a red minivan Wednesday, ran into the Hair World Salon on Royal Lane and shot three women. The women survived.

  • On Thursday, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said, "We can confidently say that hate was not a motivating factor," per the DMN.
  • But police reversed course Friday and said the possible hate crime was connected to two other attacks at Asian-run businesses.

The other attacks: The first was a drive-by shooting from a red minivan on April 2 on Royal Lane in Northwest Dallas.

  • The second took place May 10. A person in a red minivan shot into a business on Sunnyvale Street in southern Dallas.

Zoom out: Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating the mass shooting that left 10 people dead Saturday in Buffalo, New York, as a hate crime.

  • Police said the alleged shooter, an 18-year-old white man, drove hours to a predominantly Black neighborhood as part of the “straight-up racially motivated hate crime.”
  • Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black. Three people are expected to survive.

An Allen man is accused of driving 11 hours to El Paso in 2019 and killing 23 people at a Walmart. Authorities say he was targeting Hispanic people.

What we're watching: Dallas police are looking for the gunman in the Dallas shooting and are asking for the public's help identifying him and his vehicle.

  • Hate crime prosecutions are rare in Texas, and it remains to be seen whether the gunman would face a hate crime charge.

Listen: Axios Today explores the racist “great replacement” theory.

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