Report: San Antonio ranks 4th among U.S. cities with biggest increase in homicide rates in 2020

SAPD has reported 33.96% increase in killings

File image of SAPD car

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio has seen a spike in homicide cases compared to last year despite a global pandemic and the ushering in of the quarantine era.

The Wall Street Journal reported that San Antonio ranks at No. 4 among U.S. cities with the largest spikes, behind Austin at No. 1 and Fort Worth at No. 3.

This city has seen a 33.96% increase in killings in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the San Antonio Police Department’s uniform crime report. Austin’s increase is the most dramatic at 64.95% compared to last year.

SAPD states 71 homicides occurred between January-June 2020. During that time span last year, 53 were reported.

A total of 105 homicides occurred throughout 2019 in San Antonio.

The WSJ states that while the rate of homicides is still relatively low compared to previous decades, murders have increased by 24% so far this year.

Thirty-six of the country’s 50 largest cities had killings increase by double digits, the report says.

“I was surprised at the consistency of the increase across all of the different cities,” Jens Ludwig, a University of Chicago professor and director of its Crime Lab, told the WSJ.

SAPD has not commented on the spike in cases, but San Antonio psychiatrist Dr. Harry Croft provided reasons for heightened violence.

He told KSAT 12 News that “anger, irritability, agitation, domestic violence all seems to be in increased in many populations.”

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

“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.

Aggravated assault cases increased by nearly 9% from January-June 2019 to the same time this year.

About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.