Recent uptick of violent crime in Kyle

Authorities say they're concerned about the sudden uptick in crime, but that it's nothing they can't handle.

Police believe that these major crimes are not the sign of a new trend for the area.

A frequency of two murders, both within a week, is highly unusual for the Kyle area.  According to Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett, “That typically is a number we see within about a year.”

On March 27, a domestic disturbance call came in on Grant Way. Police found a woman shot to death in the front yard. Police arrested 49-year old James Craig Keen in that case.

Almost a week later on April 2, a drive by shooting claimed the life of a teenager. Police arrested a 16-year-old suspect in that case.

According to Chief Barnett, "When you associate that loss of life with criminal behavior or negligent behavior it's always sad.”

In another unfortunate case, police had to shoot and kill what bystanders described as an aggressive dog. Police say that the shooting was necessary. The use of lethal force by the officer on an animal was not a crime, and something that doesn't really happen in a quiet place like Kyle.

What seemed to have kicked off this spree of violent crime was a fatal crash on I-35 that killed four, including two kids.  22-year old Wilson Molinares is accused of drunkenly driving the wrong way.

Kyle Resident Diana Martinez had this to say, "We've been living here quite a few years. We were here when the road was two ways and the exit was right and there were a lot of accidents then but it seems like when they went one way, you would think probably would've cleared up but it got worse.”

Kyle police say the past week has been a major fluke when it comes to crime in their city. Chief Barnett says, "When you have an increase in your residential population and business community then visitor population, you create the opportunity for more crimes to occur."

Authorities hope they won't get another spike like this, however with the growth, they believe anything can happen. They say they are well prepared and Chief Barnett added, "They increased the number of police officers by 10 for this current year and we are in the current process of filling those vacancies."

With those added positions, the police force will sit at 50. The Chief says along with added officer positions Kyle City Council approved adding emergency dispatcher positions in an effort to keep up with the population growth.


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