HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After a violent start to the week, Houston could be on pace for nearly 400 homicides by the end of the year. It's a high the city hasn't seen since 1993, when there were 447 homicides and about 500,000 less people living in the city.
On Monday, seven people were killed in violent crimes during a 24 hour-period. Although the murder rate dipped below 300 in the last three years, it is up nearly 25 percent from 2019, with seven more weeks still left in the year.
"We've seen such a big uptick in violence since this pandemic started and just this year in general," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in an interview with ABC13. "While COVID, when we talk to social scientists and police chiefs across the country, has had a significant impact in the spike of violent crime, it did start -- that spiking started before COVID."
About 345 people have been killed in violent crimes in Houston so far this year. If the current murder rate continues, with an average of 7.6 homicides per week in 2020, there could be nearly 400 homicides by the end of the year.
13 Investigates found over the last 35 years, 2011 is the only year when there were less than 200 murders, according to an analysis of the latest available FBI crime data. Homicides peaked in 1991 with 608 deaths.