SAN ANTONIO — At least two dozen people are dead after a recent crime streak across the city. San Antonio police are still investigating after four men were shot and killed in two separate shootings that happened just blocks away off Perrin Beitel Road on the northeast side.
Also happening last week, investigators say a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed at a west-side home during a Fourth of July party. Two other teens were seriously injured in the shooting.
Last month, another unsolved violence crime, seven people were shot and two killed during a family barbecue at a southwest side home.
“Altercations, arguments, errant looks, perceived slights, that's a lot of what's driving this violence," said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
That could be the case a few weeks ago when four people were shot, one killed when someone opened fire at a north-side bar after police say an argument started in the parking lot.
“There's no fear of consequence, and there's no concern for the sanctity of life. People are real quick to pull out a gun to settle an argument or settle an altercation, and that's what I see happening across the city,” said McManus.
According to San Antonio PD Uniform Crime Reporting Data, 130 homicides were reported in 2020. A year later, that number jumped to 161 homicides reported in the city.
KENS 5 asked Chief McManus how to shut down the violence.
“That's a good question,” said McManus. “We do what we can do on our end by arresting people, and then from that point, the criminal justice system, the other parts of the criminal justice system, take over.”
McManus said his detectives are working around the clock to make arrests in the growing number of cases, but a disturbing trend is posing a challenge for investigators.
“We've got people that we're arresting and re-arresting and re-arresting again,” said McManus.
According to the UCR report from SAPD, out of the 84 people arrested last year on murder charges, 61 had previously been convicted of a violent crime. Fifteen of those suspects had been out on bond at the time of the murder.
“We've made a lot of arrests, yet again, we are but one part of the criminal justice system, and that's where we stop. We make the arrest. We investigate further. We testify in court. Beyond that, we don't go any further,” said McManus. “So, I really don't know what the solution is. If I did, we wouldn't be seeing this across the city.”