Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said detectives are making progress in the investigation into possible hate-motivated shootings targeting Asian-owned businesses.
"We feel very confident that we're moving in the right direction," Garcia said Monday evening at the Korean Cultural Center of Dallas during a community safety meeting.
Representatives from the FBI Dallas field office attended the meeting as well and later confirmed the agency has opened a federal hate crimes investigation into the shooting at Hair World Salon in the 2200 block of Royal Lane on May 11.
Three women were shot in the attack in the heart of Dallas' Koreatown. All three were released from the hospital and one of them spoke about her recovery at the meeting on Monday night.
The woman, who wore a mask and sunglasses, told those attending the meeting she was shot in the arm but was beginning to heal following the traumatic experience.
A majority of the 90-minute safety meeting consisted of the DPD and Dallas city council member Omar Narvaez fielding questions and concerns from business owners in the close-knit enclave.
Narvaez reemphasized the importance of contacting the police if a situation seemed odd or out of place.
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"If you see something, say something," Narvaez said. "Please, call 911."
Caroline Kim said she hoped to hear a more specifically tailored plan from city leaders to address the documented rise in reported crimes nationally targeting people of Asian descent.
"It’s a little bit disappointing to feel like it’s on us," Kim said.
On the other side of the city, another shooting happened May 10, at the China Wok Restaurant at 4849 Sunnyvale Street near Loop 12 Ledbetter in east Oak Cliff.
Bullet holes outside and inside mark where gunfire penetrated the building. Three people were in the back part of the business but were not injured.
Employees at the restaurant declined to be interviewed Monday but customers and neighbors condemned the violence.
“It's no fun man and it's real painful,” said neighbor Chris Hill, who was a victim of gunfire last summer. He was shot in the knee and the torso.
Hill said he is angry that someone came to the area, evidently targeting Asian people.
“It’s such a shame that some people out here hate enough to commit heinous crimes and violence toward one another,” Hill said. “We’re all in the same country. We’re all in the same boat, no matter what race, color we are.”
Customers said they like the people and the food at China Wok.
“I think it has to do with all the issues going around the world, everybody panicking and it's wrong,” said customer Elvin Crayton.
Neighbor Jolina Hill, who is not related to Chris Hill, said she wants the see the perpetrator arrested.
“It makes me upset they come here to disrespect the people and that's not right at all. They need justice too, you know,” she said.
Police said a third incident occurred on April 2 when someone drove by another Asian-owned business in the same block at the hair salon and fired several shots.
Witnesses have described the same type of vehicle at all three shootings: a dark red or maroon minivan.
Surveillance photos of the alleged shooter and pictures of the vehicle were not sufficient to help capture the person as of Monday.
A Dallas police sky-tower was posted at the hair salon to boost security.
“It should be concerning to every community, every ethnic group because you’re talking about people’s safety,” said John Jun with the Korean American Coalition DFW Chapter.
Jun said he spoke with one of the Royal Lane victims who was released from the hospital. She planned to attend the community meeting Monday night, but she wants her identity concealed because she is fearful that the shooter has not been arrested and may return.
“She feels that it is important to at least let the public be aware of the situation because it happened in Korean town but it could happen anywhere,” Jun said.
Security measures have also been expanded to other Asian business areas and churches in North Texas.