HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Violent crime continues to shatter lives in Houston and Harris County. The latest example happened in northwest Harris County near the corner of Round Bank Drive and Parasol Lane.
An ABC13 crew could still see the blood on the street from a Sunday evening shooting. No one hosed it off. Deputies said a 16-year-old boy shot a 14-year-old boy in the face over an argument about a girl.
An eyewitness said he heard gunfire around 9:30 p.m. He raced out of his home to find the boy near a driveway with a bullet hole in his cheek.
Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, spoke with ABC13 on Monday and didn't hold back her words. She spoke in very frank terms about rising crime.
"Numbers are rising. Unfortunately, Houston is trending above all major cities. People say, 'At least we're not Chicago.' Some numbers place us well worse than Chicago," said Mankarious. "Looking at juveniles, looking at adults ... all of our numbers are trending up. People say it's guns. People say it's mental health. It's a little bit of all of it, but it's also bond reform. There's literally no consequence for criminal activity right now in the traditional manner. We've thrown out risk assessments. We're not looking at records. We're not worried about the likelihood that a youth or adult will commit a crime again. People are quick to realize that. There's a lot of aggression in the community right now especially in our younger populations. We're seeing that bubble up."
Mankarious said the reputation of Harris County being soft on crime is not lost on criminals. She pointed to Montgomery County as an example.
"Your question goes to the heart of the issue. Montgomery County is not operating the way we are in Harris County," said Mankarious. "We'll see criminals who say it's better to get arrested or commit a crime in Harris County because we know we'll be out in a few hours. Nothing is really going to happen. That's the reputation we have here."
Mankarious remained adamant that their work to combat crime will continue despite the uphill battle.
"We believe there is nowhere to go but up," said Mankarious. "We always say people will be silent for a time while they're figuring what's going on. But after a while, they will not be silent anymore. That's where we are. People are saying enough is enough. This is our city. This is our county. This is our home. We're not going to allow Houston to be destroyed this way, really from the inside out."