AUSTIN, Texas - In less than 24 hours, Austin police responded to two shootings resulting in two deaths.
One Texas nonprofit looking to curb gun violence says Austin is not the only city seeing an uptick in gun-related injuries, many cities across the country are seeing an increase as well.
On Monday afternoon, Studio 6 in Northwest Austin was blocked off with police tape after a shooting left a man dead and a woman seriously injured. Police are looking for two suspects who ran from the scene.
Late Sunday evening, police say 40-year-old Christopher Ray Martinez was shot and killed in a jealous rage by another man. The investigation reveals that the suspect and victim both had a romantic interest in the same woman. The suspect is described as a 20-year-old Hispanic man.
"There are more shootings, there are more gun-related injuries and deaths, and we've seen that here in Austin, especially recently," said Ed Scruggs, Board Member for Texas Gun Sense, a statewide nonprofit that has been advocating for gun safety for years.
Scruggs says the increase in gun violence isn't just an Austin problem and is being seen around the country. "There has been an uptick, not only in Austin but nationwide, especially in major cities, especially in the year of the pandemic."
He says the best options are to get guns out of the hands of the wrong people with stronger background checks. Texas Gun Sense also wants more information about gun safety to be given to those who do get approved to buy a gun. This is especially important because more people have been buying guns recently.
"We have had a record number of gun sales in the past 18 months, so guns are more available than they ever have been before coupled that with the economic hardship and the pandemic, and it could be a recipe for what we're seeing unfolding," said Scruggs.
Detectives are asking anyone with information or video of the incident to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS, email firstname.lastname@example.org, utilize the Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS), or the Crime Stoppers app. You may remain anonymous.