SAN ANTONIO – After a deadly afternoon in the city, following several weeks of shootings and gruesome abuse cases, many are wondering what is behind the violence increase.
Shots rang out at a downtown bus stop Monday afternoon following an argument between a 22-year-old man and a 30-year-old man.
“San Antonio is getting worse. It’s getting bad,” said Barbara Quionez, who uses the bus stop where the shooting happened.
One man was shot in the head and upper torso on St. Mary’s Street.
“Somebody’s probably going to die because of an altercation, and somebody is real quick to pull out a gun to settle that,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.
The Bexar County Medical Examiner confirmed a death in the case.
Hours later, a woman was killed outside of a North Side business on Interpark Boulevard.
“A lot of the violence in the city is caused by altercations, arguments, road rage,” McManus said.
Mary Beth Fisk, CEO of The Ecumenical Center, said the increase in violence could be caused by compounding trauma and stress from two years of the ongoing pandemic.
“So often what we see with multiple traumas is people will turn to ways they can express that trauma or let go of that concern,” Fisk said.
Across the U.S., throughout the pandemic, there has been an increase in violent crimes, specifically murders. According to AH Datalytics, there was a 5.7% increase in murders from 2020 to 2021.
The FBI’s crime data explorer shows Texas has a higher rate of violent crime offenses by population compared to the U.S. as a whole.
“We’ve seen an increase in so many areas in our community that are so concerning,” Fisk said.
She said it’s not uncommon to have more feelings of irritability or anger with the state of the world, but it is important to address those feelings healthily.
“Find ways that are relaxing to you and try to focus on those particular areas, and certainly never lose the vision of our joy,” Fisk said.
Whether it’s a mental health professional or someone you trust, talking with someone can also be beneficial. Fisk said this is regardless of whether you have been personally affected by the violence in our city or are run down by hearing about it day after day.
“It’s very important that, at this point, you look for those lifelines that can support you through this difficult time,” Fisk said.
The Ecumenical Center is a nonprofit with counselors available online and strategically placed throughout the city. While resources are limited because of a huge increase in need, Fisk said they’re still here to help.