AUSTIN, Texas - As 2021 comes to an end, Austin has seen 89 murders for the year. In these 89 cases so far this year, 51 suspects have been arrested.
While this number is the highest the city has seen when compared to the population, the homicide rate is still lower than what it was in the early 80s.
"The 89 homicides are horrible and you just feel sorry for the victims. I know there are cases which would’ve been hard for officers to do anything, they are the family violence murders and the things that happened in your home where you can’t intercede," said Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday.
When 2021 began it took less than two weeks for police to report the first homicide which happened on Grand Canyon Drive on January 11. Officers found a 31-year-old victim with a gunshot wound.
Since then homicides continued to be reported throughout the city. By the summer, 2021 had already passed 2020's total number of murders which was 44 for the year. Also, during the summer was the mass shooting on East 6th on June 12. Austin police said a fight broke out between two people which resulted in multiple shots being fired. 25-year-old Douglas Kantor, who was a bystander, was shot and later died. 13 others were injured.
Austin‘s most recent homicide happened earlier this month at an apartment complex off Grove Boulevard. Officers found a man dead and believe the incident to be a burglary.
As the city heads into 2022, the Austin Police Association is preparing for the homicide trend to stay consistent. "We hope not, we wish murders were down 100% but we know that’s not going to happen," said Casaday.
It’s not just Austin that saw an increase in homicides, according to the FBI it’s something happening across the nation. Back in September, the FBI released their 2020 numbers which saw homicides up nearly 30% across the country.