Jeremy Theron Smith, 37, of Dallas, Texas, United States was in a car crash with an Asian man in 2020, according to his girlfriend who also lives in Dallas. Since then, he has had near panic attacks when he is around anyone of Asian descent, she said.
These are among the details the girlfriend said when Dallas Police Department officers searched her home. She told the officers that Smith used to work at a beauty supply warehouse but he was fired after verbally attacking his Asian boss.
Dallas has the largest Korean-American community in Texas. In the 1980s, the Koreatown in Dallas was transformed from an industrial area to a thriving district with dining, shopping, medical offices, markets and salons.
One of the salons in neighborhood is Hair World Salon. The owner is of Korean descent.
In April 2022, Terry Goree fixed the alternator in Smith’s red Honda Odyssey minivan. They were friends.
“When they said it was a hate crime, I had no idea it could be Jeremy,” Goree told WFAA. “I can’t believe I worked on a van possibly used in a crime.”
A similar vehicle was reported to be involved in a drive-by near Hair World Salon on April 2, 2022 and a shooting around 40km southeast of there on May 10, 2022. Nobody was injured in either of those shootings.
On May 11, 2022, Smith allegedly got out of his Honda Odyssey minivan and entered Hair World Salon while wearing all black and carrying a .22 caliber rifle. He allegedly fired 13 shots inside the salon, injuring the owner, a customer and a stylist in the lower back, in the right forearm and in the foot.
The three victims, who are females and of Korean descent, were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Four more people were inside the salon during the shooting but they were not injured.
On May 16, 2022, Dallas Police Department officers arrested Smith while he was working a temporary landscaping job at U.S. Air Force veteran Charles Allen‘s home in DeSoto, Dallas County, Texas. The officers found a Jimenez .380 handgun magazine with four live rounds in his pocket and a .380 handgun with 10 more live rounds in his minivan, which was parked next to a black 2013 Lexus.
The officers also found that Smith was involved in a criminal mischief case against the 2013 Lexus. He was booked into the Dallas County Jail in Dallas and his bond was set at $300,000.
On May 17, 2022, Smith was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. On May 18, 2022, he was charged with four counts of aggravated assault.
Represented by Don Guidry, Smith was later transferred to Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas and his bond was increased to $700,000. On August 4, 2022, a Dallas County grand jury met and indicted Smith on seven counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as a hate crime.