Homicides increase in San Antonio during COVID-19 pandemic, shutdown

Other crimes down during between mid-March and June 2020 compared to same time in 2018, 2019

Pandemic, shutdowns didn’t lead to less homicides in San Antonio, officials say
Pandemic, shutdowns didn’t lead to less homicides in San Antonio, officials say

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police investigated more homicides during the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown than during the same time period in 2018 and 2019, according to figures released.

According to the San Antonio Police Department, between March 18, 2018, and June 30, 2018, San Antonio police reported 35 homicides. During the same time frame in 2019, homicides decreased to 30.

But during March 18 to June 30 of 2020 amid the pandemic and shutdown, the amount of homicides soared to 43.

“Anger, irritability, agitation, domestic violence all seems to be in increased in many populations,” said San Antonio psychiatrist, Dr. Harry Croft, about the reasons for the rise in homicides.

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SAPD reports certain violent crimes, such as rape and robbery did decrease from April 2019 to April 2020, but aggravated assaults jumped from 590 to 623 during that same time period.

For some crime victims, the increased violence occurs within the home and it’s not always reported to police.

“Being stuck together, having the fears not only of the virus, but of money issues, and work issues, and then having the children at home all day, every day. All of those things may increase violence,” Croft said.

Croft said while the pandemic, itself, is stressful, it’s important to find ways to channel frustration. He suggests doing things like working out, listening to music, or simply taking a nap.

“Start by controlling the things you can control,” Croft said.

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Croft said it’s also important not to resort to unhealthy ways to cope with problems, such as abusing drugs and or alcohol.

“They may increase anger, irritability, agitation and decrease control,” he said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of violence or homicide, or if you find yourself getting too stressed out and you need professional help, you can take advantage of the resources below to get help.

SAPD Homicide Unit: 210-207-7630

Battered Women and Children’s Shelter: 210-733-8810

National Domestic Violence : 1-800-799-7233

Adult/Child Protective Services: 1-800-252-5400

Texas VINE Program: 1-877-894-8463

Rape Crisis Center: 210-349-7273

United Way (Suicide Help Line): 211

Gay & Lesbian Hotline: 212-714-1141

Abuse Abroad Crisis Hotline : 833-SAFE-833

Information and Non-Emergency: 311