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Girlfriend: Dallas shooting suspect feared Asian Americans

Attack wounded 3 women in city’s Koreatown

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Chief Eddie Garcia, right, rubs his eyes for a moment as senior corporal Soo Kim addresses reporters in Korean during a news conference at police headquarters headquarters in Dallas, Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Chief Eddie Garcia, right, rubs his eyes for a moment as senior corporal Soo Kim addresses reporters in Korean during a news conference at police headquarters headquarters in Dallas, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero) Photo Gallery

DALLAS — The girlfriend of a man arrested Tuesday in a shooting that wounded three women of Asian descent in a hair salon in Dallas’ Koreatown told police that he has delusions that Asian Americans are trying to harm him, an arrest warrant affidavit states.

Jeremy Smith faces three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said. Smith is being held on $300,000 bond, according to jail records that do not list an attorney for him. In public records, his age is listed as both 36 and 37.

When asked at a news conference Tuesday if he considered the shooting an issue of racism, mental health or both, Dallas police Chief Eddie Garcia said it’s too early to tell.

“Right now, it’s an issue of hate. It’s a hate crime. However that manifests itself, I’m not here to say that. I can tell you that I know our community sees it as a hate crime. I see it as a hate crime and so do our men and women,” Garcia said.

Earlier Tuesday, the FBI said it has opened a federal hate crime investigation along with federal prosecutors in Texas and the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division.

Police have said the shooting last Wednesday at Hair World Salon might be connected to two previous drive-by shootings at businesses run by Asian Americans. But Garcia said Tuesday that police are still investigating whether Smith, who is Black, was involved. The description of the suspect’s vehicle was similar in all three shootings.

According to the affidavit, Smith’s girlfriend told detectives that he had been delusional about Asian Americans ever since being involved in a car crash two years ago with a man of Asian descent. She said he had been admitted to several mental health facilities because of the delusions.

Whenever Smith is around an Asian American, “he begins having delusions that the Asian mob is after him or attempting to harm him,” his girlfriend told police. She said he was fired for “verbally attacking” his boss, who was of Asian descent.

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