DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas police chief said Thursday that they don't believe a shooting at a hair salon in Dallas' Koreatown area that injured three women was a hate crime.
“In this particular case, we have no evidence to point that hate is a factor, and to say otherwise would be irresponsible for us, to have a community live in fear,” Dallas police chief Eddie Garcia said.
“If there were a nexus to hate, we certainly would be conducting outreach to ensure our community knows,” Garcia said.
Authorities are still searching for a man dressed all in black who shot the three women Wednesday afternoon at Hair World Salon, which is in a shopping center with many businesses owned by Korean Americans. Police say the shooter drove off in a maroon minivan.
The three women were taken to a hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening, police said.
The daughter of one of the injured women said her mother told her that the man, who she didn't recognize, calmly walked in, opened fire and then left.
“He was calm. He just walked up to it and then stood there — didn’t walk around — but stood there and shot like 20 shots and then just calmly went out,” said Jane Bae, who wasn’t there but had spoken with her mother.
Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell told KDFW that police believe the shooter shouted something when he came in, but police hadn't figured out what it was.
Police said they were looking into reports of a dispute earlier in the day involving a customer to see if it's connected to the shooting. “We’re not ruling it out, but right now I don’t want to relate the two unless I’m for sure,” Mitchell said.
Bae said that her mother, who owns the salon, and a salon worker were shot, in addition to a customer.
She said her mother said the worker who was shot had spotted the man with a gun heading toward the salon and ran toward the door shouting ‘no' and tried to lock it, but wasn't able to do so it in time.
Bae said her mother doesn't recall the shooter saying anything.
She said her mother was shot in the feet, and the salon worker was shot in the arm. She didn't know about the customer's injuries.
On April 2, a drive-by shooting was reported at the shopping center where the salon is located, police said. Police got multiple calls related to that incident. Police said they are investigating it but did not say if they believed there was any connection.
Jarely Martinez, who works as a dental assistant in an office in the shopping center, said she didn't hear the gunshots on Wednesday but heard the sirens from emergency vehicles and walked out and saw a woman covered in blood.
She said she wasn't working on April 2, but a window of the dentist's office was damaged in that shooting.
“It feels a little nerve-wracking coming to work,” Martinez said Thursday.