Mayor, Congressman speak on possible options for curbing gun violence in San Antonio

Both are working to secure federal funds through Department of Justice grants

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio has seen nine shootings in six days, and police believe victims in at least four have been targeted. Violent crimes are raising concerns.

“This is a challenge being faced all across the country. What is unique here in Texas and some other states as well is the legislature is making it easier for these weapons to be all over our streets and getting into the wrong hands,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

Nirenberg and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus have echoed similar messages on gun control, but the push for legislation continues in Austin and Washington D.C.

“I understand some people want some assault weapon bans, and some don’t want to talk about it at all; I’m of the mindset of what can we do to protect the constitution as well as keep our kids safe in school,” U.S. House Representative Tony Gonzales said.

Gonzales represents District 23, which includes parts of San Antonio and to the border. He tells us he and the mayor are working on securing federal funds through Department of Justice grants for additional resources.

“We’re talking millions of dollars through these federal grants, that way we can hire more police officers,” Gonzales said.

The mayor said they plan to hire 100 officers this fiscal year and “a couple of hundred officers in the next three to five years.”

Nirenberg said even with the recent shootings, the city’s prevention plan is showing promising signs. Right now, police are adding patrol to areas with high reports of crime.

“Based on data where those crimes occur, we’re seeing a marked decrease where that intervention is occurring and a decrease in violent crime overall,” Nirenberg said.

Criminologists from the University of Texas at San Antonio showed a 10.9% citywide drop in the average monthly number of those crimes during the first two months of the year compared to the same time frame in 2022. In March and April, the city saw a 9.5% drop.

Here’s a list of some recent San Antonio area shootings:

  • Friday, June 2: A drive-by shooting at the Costa Biscaya apartments killed a 16-year-old boy. A 5-year-old, a 15-year-old, and a 60-year-old were all also hospitalized, according to San Antonio police.
  • Saturday, June 3: A shootout at the Antioch Village Apartments ended in an 18-year-old dead and two others injured, police say.
  • Sunday, June 4: Chaos erupted at North Star Mall. SAPD says two suspects shot and killed a rapper who was getting a haircut.
  • Monday, June 5: San Antonio police blocked off a portion of an East Side neighborhood, searching for three suspects accused of committing a drive-by and then opening fire on undercover officers. Police caught and arrested two of the suspects.

About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.