Homicide rate continues to rise in Houston

(The Center Square) – Nearly every day, Houstonians hear of homicides being committed in the largest city in Texas.

Last year proved deadlier than 2020 with homicides increasing for a second year in a row.

In 2021, 473 people were homicide victims in Houston, an 18% increase from 2020 and a 71% increase from 2019, the Houston Police Department reports.

Of the homicides committed last year, 70% were cleared, meaning the majority of cases were closed by the Houston Police Department.

Over a 24-hour period between Friday and Saturday this weekend, HPD announced on its Twitter feed examples of calls its officers responded to, including homicides. It also publishes news releases daily of alleged crimes committed and requests for help from the public to solve them.

On Saturday morning, HPD announced a man was fatally shot overnight in the Westwood area of Houston. He was believed to have been in his vehicle with a sex worker.

HPS officers also responded to a shooting at a nightclub in southwest Houston in the early hours of Saturday. HPD reported a shooter was still on the run and at large after wounding three people and killing one. HPD published photos of the vehicles and alleged suspect and is asking for the public’s help.

A few hours earlier, Clear Lake officers responded to a shooting scene after which two males were sent to the hospital.

An hour earlier, Westside officers responded to a shooting scene to find one adult male deceased at the scene.

Also on Saturday morning, HPD announced that one suspect was in custody related to a shooting outside of a nightclub in the early hours of Jan. 1 that resulted in a mother of three being shot dead. HPD also requested help from the public to find a second unidentified male suspect who remains at large.

HPD also requested help in an investigation of a drive-by shooting of a residence that resulted in a fatal shooting of a woman and wounding of a man on Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the crimes in question are encouraged to call HPD’s homicide division or Crime Stoppers in Houston at 713-222-TIPS.

The group has played a vital role in helping the HPD since 1980.

In 2020, Crime Stoppers helped solve over 370 cases and helped arrest 238 suspects, according to its website. It also paid 248 tipsters a total of $310,800 in rewards and helped seize or recover $299,131.

Crime Stoppers in Houston has helped solve 35,767 cases and helped arrest 27,048 suspects since 1980, having paid over $12.4 million in rewards to 23,344 people and helped seize/recover nearly $200 million.

Those who provide tips to Crime Stoppers Tip Line may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $5,000 depending on the type of crime they help solve in the Greater Houston, Harris County area.

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