The suspect arrested in connection to a shooting at a Korean hair salon in Texas last week had “delusions” about Asians, according to his girlfriend, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Jeremy Smith, 36, was arrested early Tuesday and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the May 11 shooting, according to online jail records.
Smith allegedly entered Hair World Salon last Wednesday and opened fire, hitting three women who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The salon’s owner, an employee, and a customer, all reportedly of Korean descent, were injured in the attack.
Smith allegedly fired his gun 13 times before fleeing in his van. He later told police he owned a .380 handgun and a .22-caliber, Kalashnikov-type rifle.
In an interview with police, Smith’s unidentified girlfriend said that Smith began “having delusions that the Asian mob is after him or attempting to harm him” following a car crash two years ago that involved an Asian man, according to a police affidavit first obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
Smith had been “admitted to several mental health facilities” and fired from his job after “verbally attacking” his Asian boss, his girlfriend reportedly told detectives.
The FBI Dallas field office announced Monday that it has opened a federal hate crimes investigation into the shooting. Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said last week that his department was investigating a possible connection between Wednesday’s attack and two other recent violent incidents targeting the Asian American community.
“We’re very nervous. We’re very tired,” one of the victims, who did not reveal her identity, told The Dallas Morning News. “This happened to us for no reason.”