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After authorities initially ruled out hate as a possible motive behind a shooting incident at a Dallas hair salon this week, where three people were injured, a police chief said the incident may have been a hate crime.
Police Chief Eddie García announced Friday that the shooting at the Hair World Salon in Dallas Wednesday might have been racially motivated, the Dallas Morning News reported.
It may also be connected to two other race-related shootings in the city, according to the police chief.
On Thursday, Garcia said his office could “confidently say that hate was not a motivating factor” in the shooting but the office changed its view amid an “ongoing investigation and a consistent review of officer reports made by the department’s crime analysis unit.”
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson similarly addressed the possibility Wednesday’s shooting and the previous incidents may have been targeted attacks on the Asian American community.
Johnson called the incident “chilling and deeply disturbing” and said the city “stands with” the victims, who each suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
“I want our city’s Asian American community — which has appallingly faced increasing vitriol in recent years — to know that the City of Dallas and the people of Dallas stand with them,” the mayor said, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The suspect in Wednesday’s attack fled the scene in a red minivan, which is connected to two other drive-by shootings, including one the day before about 25 miles from the hair salon, Garcia said.
The other incident occurred on April 2, in the same area as the hair salon, he added.
“We are turning to every resident of the city of Dallas to keep an eye out and safeguard our city,” Garcia said. “Hate has no place here.”
The suspect has yet to be apprehended.
“We need to get this person in custody,” the police chief added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.