On Saturday, a drive by shooting in San Antonio, Texas left 2 dead and 5 injured outside a home. At around 10 pm, members of an extended family were having a BBQ when the firing began.
In an official statement, the city's Police Chief William McManus told the press that an unknown number of people passed by the premises, firing shots. 5 men and 7 women were shot in the attack. Multiple children were also present inside the house, but they were uninjured.
“For now, 7 people shot out in front of the house barbecuing, a drive-by, multiple rounds fired, 2 dead, 5 injured. 2 females. 5 males.”
Authorities told the press that while the investigation has begun, police have not yet identified any suspects.
What does the San Antonio attack say about violence in America?
The San Antonio attack occurred on the heels of several high-profile gun violence cases, including mass shootings in Texas, New York and Oklahoma. According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, a crowd-sourced database that records large-scale gun violence incidents across America, the San Antonio drive-by is one of 322 mass shootings that the nation saw in 2022.
According to PBS, this is only indicative of a greater pattern of rising crime in the country, with an FBI report showing that violent crimes have surged in several American cities. According to the last official report in 2021, however, DPS reported that San Antonio was one of the only 'Big Four' cities in Texas to see a drop in overall rates, despite a 37% increase in violent crimes nation-wide.
In an official statement, McManus told the press that the decrease in overall crime in the city was due to community-based policing.
““The decrease in the overall crime numbers is a testament of the strong relationship between SAPD and the community we serve.”
“Crime thrives when residents don’t trust their police department. We will continue to collaborate with residents to ensure that we are preventing and solving crimes so that we can continue to ensure San Antonio is a safe city for all”
Despite the fall in overall crime, McManus acknowledged that robbery and larceny was still a major issue in the city. Moreover, 2021 still saw more homicide cases than 2020, with 160 murders across the city.
The availability of guns
According to the BBC, the endemic violence in America is at least partially due to the availability of guns, which can be purchased legally in several states, including Texas. According to the small arms survey, it is the nation with the highest number of gun-owning civilians.
However, gun lobbyists argue that rather than demonizing firearms, the government should focus on improving infrastructure and mental health facilities, which also play a part in fuelling numerous shootings, be they lone gunman attacks or gang-related clashes.