Anthony Torres charged with hate crimes for 2015 fatal shooting at Dallas tire shop

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — A North Texas man was charged with hate crimes by a federal grand jury on Tuesday stemming from a Dec. 2015 shooting at a Dallas car shop that left one dead and at least one other wounded.

Anthony Paz Torres, 37, is accused of killing Enrique Garcia-Mendoza, 25, and attempting to murder four others at Omar’s Wheels and Tires on Christmas Eve seven years ago in a shooting reportedly motivated by Islamophobia.

The indictment alleges that Torres had apparently showed up at the business a few days before Dec. 24, 2015 and was told by police to leave and not return. When he returned, he brought a gun with him.

Torres allegedly began firing the gun at employees and customers, striking and killing Garcia-Mendoza as he sat in his car. Torres then allegedly attempted to shoot and kill three other people. 

One of the shop’s employees returned fire and hit Torres but was shot in the chest. Both Torres and the employee survived their injuries.

As he left, Torres tried and failed to kill a fourth person by hitting them with his vehicle.

According to the indictment, Torres’ alleged crimes were motivated because of the “actual or perceived religion of another person.” He reportedly targeted the business because it was owned by a Muslim man.

Furthermore, witnesses told police that before he opened fire, Torres had asked several employees and customers whether they were Muslims or not.

If Torres is convicted on the hate crime resulting in death and gun charge counts, he will automatically be given a life sentence. The other hate crime charges each carry penalties of several years in prison.

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