US

11 People Shot in 12 Hours in Houston, Six People Killed

By Zachary Stieber

Eleven people were shot in 12 hours from late Sunday, Aug. 4 into Monday in Houston, with six people left dead.

The rash of shootings started around 3 p.m. in northeast Houston where a woman was shot in the head, reported KHOU. The shootings continued until 2:34 a.m. the next morning, when police officers responded to a call and found a man with gunshot wounds deceased.

In between, a family argument led to a man being shot in the leg; a clerk was shot inside his store; a double shooting left a woman dead and a man injured; a man was hit in the leg by a bullet during a drive-by shooting; a man was shot in the head during an apparent argument with another man; two men were shot at during a road rage incident; and a woman was found shot dead in a rented room in northwest Houston.

There were approximately 79 incidents involving assault with a deadly weapon between July 22 and Aug. 5, according to the Houston Police Department’s crime report.

Houston has a population of approximately 2.3 million.

The city saw 25,609 violent crime incidents in 2017, according to the FBI, and 269 murders and manslaughters.

There was also some 1,366 rapes, nearly 10,000 robberies, and approximately 14,000 aggravated assaults.

Combined with the nearby cities of Sugar Land, Baytown, Conroe, Houston had 438 murders for a murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants of 64, the FBI said.

Houston is one of a group of cities that have seen an increase in crime in recent years, noted crime analyst Nathan James in a report submitted to members Congress last year (pdf).

An increase in violent crimes in the nation from 2014 to 2016 mostly took place in a handful of cities, with Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Baltimore accounting for 60 percent of the net increase of 14,464 violent crimes in the 48 largest cities from 2014 to 2015.

From 2015 to 2016, there was a net increase of 24,218 violent crimes in the same cities. Increases in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Houston accounted for 55 percent of the net increase.

Buildings on a street in west Baltimore
Buildings on a street in west Baltimore, Md., on July 30, 2019. (Petr Svab/The Epoch Times)

Houston saw approximately 279 homicides in 2018, though full statistics aren’t available as of yet.

“It’s too many,” Police Chief Art Acevedo said just before the year ended, reported the Houston Chronicle. “If we got rid of domestic violence deaths, we would be dozens lower than where we are right now.”

He said the number in 2017 likely would have been higher if Hurricane Harvey didn’t decimate the city, meaning progress was made in 2018 even if it didn’t actually appear to be made.

“We’re still having too many people killed in our city,” the chief said. “Having said that, when you look at the three-to-five year time frame, we’re tracking in the right direction.”

Some experts noted the drop from the 1990s, when the city saw more than 600 killings in one year.

“You’re talking a figure half the number of the 1991 homicides, yet the population of Houston has continued to climb over those years,” Larry Karson, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston-Downtown, told the Chronicle. “That’s the real story. These little fluctuations, I suspect, are not statistically significant.”