The latest shooting took place at a Korean-owned hair salon on Wednesday, police said. At the time, authorities said a suspect walked into the business, shouted something and started shooting. Three women suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
“At this point in the investigation, we had no indication that this crime was motivated by hate. As of this afternoon, that changed,” the chief said on Friday.
After reviewing two other incidents, police now believe there is a connection, in part because of the suspect’s vehicle, the chief said.
During Wednesday’s shooting, a witness described the suspect running towards an old-style red van and driving away at full speed, police said.
A day earlier, a suspect in a burgundy van or car drove by and fired at an Asian-run business, police said. Three people were in the building but were not injured.
And about a month before those incidents, on April 2, a vehicle drove past a mall of Asian-run businesses in what witnesses described as a red van, police said.
Dallas police contacted partners including the FBI “out of an abundance of caution” to inform them of their findings, and also contacted other Texas agencies to see if there had been any other similar incidents, said Garcia on Friday. .
“To protect our community, we will be using camera trailers in certain areas and each patrol station has been asked to increase visibility patrols in our Asian community areas,” Garcia said. “Most importantly, we look to everyone in the City of Dallas to keep an eye out and protect our city. Hate has no place here.”
Authorities are also asking for the community’s help in identifying the suspect.
Dallas police have so far described the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting as “a black male about 5’7″ to 5’10” tall, with a slim build, shoulder-length curly hair and a connected beard. “.
“We need to take this person into custody,” the chief said. “We need the help of our community.”
CNN’s Andy Rose contributed to this report.