Christmas Eve Shooting Was Hate Crime: Dallas Police

Anthony Torres charged with murder, aggravated assault

Dallas police have determined that a Christmas Eve shooting that left one person dead and four others wounded was a hate crime.

Anthony Torres, 30, has been charged with murder and aggravated assault after police said he opened fire at a tire shop in the 3700 block of South Buckner Boulevard. Torres killed Enrique Mendoza and critically wounded one of the shop's employees, police said.

"Detectives received information that Torres made comments and specifically used the word 'Muslim' as he was shooting," said Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting witnesses told detectives they could not understand why Torres used the word, but they said he had been involved in an altercation at the shop the week before the shooting.

Geron said Torres told the responding officers that he would not go back to the shop.

"Detectives discovered body cam video from patrol officers where Torres claimed that he was both Jewish and Christian and indicated he had a bias against Muslims," Geron said.

Evan Hain, whose brother owns the tire shop, escaped the shooting unharmed, but remembered Torres speaking with customers moments before opening fire.

"[Torres] asked a customer, 'Where are you from? Are you Arab? Are you Muslim?'" Hain said. "The customer said, 'No.'"

Torres has been charged with one count of murder and one count of aggravated assault. According to police, hate crime charges would only apply to the aggravated assault since there is no enhancement of a murder charge.

The employee who was critically injured remains in the hospital, but his condition has been upgraded to stable.

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