MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Violent crime is on the rise in Fort Bend County during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why prosecutors and lawmakers held a news conference to talk about ways to combat it.
On Tuesday, State Representative Ron Reynolds addressed violent crime in our area.
The news conference came days after a deadly double shooting in Fresno of two teenage brothers, 15-year-old Devin Massey and 17-year-old Jonathan Massey, on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Loved ones are still waiting for an arrest.
"They were good boys," family friend Shauntay B Favor said. "They were boys that you would love to have as your own."
Friends spoke at the news conference where prosecutors and elected leaders expressed concern about the increase in violent crimes in Fort Bend County.
"Everyone should feel safe regardless of their zip code, regardless of where they reside," Reynolds said. "If you live anywhere in Fort Bend County, you should feel safe and secure."
In the neighborhood where the teens were killed, there have been five more violent crimes this year, compared to last. The district attorney's office sent ABC13 those violent crime numbers.
The DA's office saw 2,391 adult violent crime cases, which includes homicides, robberies and assaults in 2019. This year, that number is 2,454.
To decrease the number, prosecutors plan to focus on new youth programs.
"Help them engage in pro-social behavior," Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton explained. "Give them guidance. Show them the way so they can be successful."
The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office is also dealing with growing numbers. ABC13 obtained data that shows deputies have dealt with 264 more violent crime cases in 2020, compared to the same time in 2019.
A look at the numbers
Murder: In 2019 - 9; In 2020 - 9
Rape: In 2019 - 127; In 2020 - 145
Robbery: In 2019 - 107; In 2020 - 102
Assault: In 2019 - 4113; In 2020 - 4364
Total: In 2019 - 4356; in 2020 - 4620
Officials say more changes are coming to FBCSO in 2021.
On Jan. 1, Eric Fagan will be sworn in as sheriff.
To combat violent crime, Fagan said he wants to improve communication between police agencies, and put more deputies in areas you may not have seen them before.
"Our sheriff's office will be more proactive and will be present in areas where we weren't present before," Fagan explained.
As law enforcement aims to reduce violent crime in 2021, they're also working to bring justice to the latest victims in Fresno's deadly double shooting.
"Understand, that we will hunt you down, find you, and bring you to justice and demand the highest form of punishment," Middleton said to the people behind the shooting. "You will not get away with this."
Fort Bend County offers residents a way to track violent crime in their neighborhood through their website.