A Dallas County grand jury has brought hate crime charges against Jeremy Smith who is accused of injuring three Asian woman in a shooting at hair salon in May. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A grand jury in Texas has indicted the man accused of shooting up a Dallas hair salon in May on hate crime charges.
Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot announced in a statement that the Dallas County Grand Jury has returned an indicted charging Jeremy Smith, 37, with seven counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
"The shooting was allegedly motivated by bias or prejudice against Asian Americans -- thus classified under Texas law as a hate crime," Creuzot said.
Smith is accused of firing 13 rounds from a .22-caliber rifle inside of Hair World Salon, located in Dallas' Koreatown, on May 11, wounding three asian women. Authorities said four additional witnesses at the salon during the shooting were also threatened.
Following the shooting, authorities launched a manhunt for the shooter who was described as dressed in black and who had fled the scene in a red van.
The manhunt came to an end on May 16 when Smith was arrested.
Creuzot said his office had presented its case to the grand jury on Aug. 4.
"After reviewing the evidence, the Grand Jury found that there was sufficient evidence to find probable cause and to indict Smith for these hate crimes," the Dallas District Attorney's Office said.
Smith is being held at the Lew Sterret Justice Center on bonds totaling $700,000.
The shooting occurred as the United States has seen spiking incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes amid the pandemic.
Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of Asian equality groups that was formed amid the pandemic in reaction to the increase in such incidents, said it has tallied 11,500 reported hate incidents targeting Asians between its founding on March 19, 2020, and March 31 of this year.
The announcement of the indictment comes days after a Texas man was sentenced to 25 years in prison late last week for brutally attacking an Asian family at a Midland Sam's Club in March of 2020.