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San Antonio homicides have jumped 52% since 2019; overall violent crime rate down 9%

SAPD Chief William McManus says the city's homicides aren't caused by organized crime, making them harder for law enforcement to detect ahead of time and prevent.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Tuesday that the homicide rate in San Antonio isn't caused by organized crime. Instead, it's very disorganized and spontaneous, making it harder to control. 

"Organized (crime) is much, much easier to deal with. You know based on intelligence what's going to happen." McManus said. "With these random spontaneous types of murders, you don't. And they're next to impossible to prevent unless you know something's happening ahead of time."

There were 160 homicides in San Antonio in 2021, which is up from 130 homicides recorded in 2020. The number of homicides has increased 52 percent since 2019, when there were just 105 homicides recorded.

McManus also said property crime is up, mostly involving burglaries from vehicles. But due to the holiday vehicle burglary task force, a lot of arrests were made in 2021. He said many of the people arrested for vehicle burglaries already have a criminal history.

"The rhetorical question I ask myself is: 'How many people do we have to arrest to make this stop?'" McManus said. "And I don't know the answer to that."

McManus also said victims and witnesses often don't cooperate with investigating the crimes due to fear of retaliation because those who committed the crime are often let out on bond.

McManus attributed San Antonio's crime rate increase to 'high-risk' behavior --- people illegally carrying guns and shooting people regardless of the gun law passed in September that allows most Texans to carry guns without permits.

"The people who are not allowed legally to carry guns were carrying them before this law was passed," McManus said. "And they're the ones who are doing these shootings."

Watch the full news conference here.


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