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Man arrested for Texas salon shooting had panic attacks around Asians, says girlfriend

Jeremy Theron Smith, a 36-year-old Black man, was arrested on Monday evening on charges unrelated to the shooting and agreed to speak to detectives without an attorney, according to an arrest warrant released Tuesday

Jeremy Theron Smith, who is suspected of injuring three in an attack on a Dallas hair salon
Jeremy Theron Smith, who is suspected of injuring three in an attack on a Dallas hair salon | Dallas County Jail

May 20, 2022 1:15pm

Updated: May 20, 2022 1:58pm

The suspect in a shooting at a Dallas hair salon on May 11 that injured three Korean women had panic attacks around Asians after a car accident, according to his girlfriend.

Jeremy Theron Smith, a 36-year-old Black man, was arrested on Monday evening on charges unrelated to the shooting and agreed to speak to detectives without an attorney, according to an arrest warrant released Tuesday.

Smith admitted to authorities he was in the area of the Hair World Salon in Dallas’s Koreatown around the time of the shooting. He also told them he owned two guns, including a rifle that fired .22 caliber bullets like those found at the scene of the crime.

The three women injured in the shooting are recovering at nearby hospitals.

Police also said a maroon minivan like Smith’s getaway vehicle had been involved in two other recent shootings at businesses run by Asian-Americans, including a drive-by attack in the salon’s neighborhood. No one was injured in those attacks.

Smith’s girlfriend told authorities he had been involved in a car crash with an Asian drivers a couple years ago and “has had near panic attacks when he is around anyone of Asian descent” ever since, reports NBC 5 DFW.

She added he had been admitted to mental health facilities after “having delusions that the Asian mob is after him or attempting to harm him,” according to the report.

Smith was arrested while working at a landscaping job. The homeowner, a wheelchair-bound Air Force veteran named Charles Allen, was surprised by the armed officers that pulled in and

As they were cuffing Smith, Allen turned and told the officers, "You gotta be kidding me, is this some kind of movie or something? I know you're not after this little guy."