Houston - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined several other mayors from across the country Tuesday to discuss a recent rise in violent crime.
"I assume that everybody has a gun these days," said Mayor Turner.
Mayors from Savannah, Dayton, Chicago, and Austin joined Turner in the meeting. All of the city representatives say they’ve noticed a rise in gun violence.
"This crisis is happening almost everywhere and almost every major city," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
Houston police have been busy responding to violent calls throughout 2021. So far this year, there have been 209 homicides within city limits. That’s compared to 153 through this same day in 2020.
Early Tuesday morning, HPD received a call for someone getting shot during an attempted carjacking near I45 and Richey Road. The victim had been pumping gas. According to police, he fought the thief and was shot in the chest. We’re told he’s expected to survive.
According to Mayor Turner, a law enforcement "summit" is scheduled for later this week to address the recent rise in crime.
"We are having a strategic law enforcement summit, even tomorrow, to address the rise in crime taking place within our cities," said Turner. "We are adding new cadet classes to our police department. We are doing all of those things and more, and yet, crime continues to rise."
"We need to treat this as a public health issue, because it is a public health issue," said Savannah Mayor Van R Johnson. "We’re all crying for help."
Several mayors nationwide signed and sent a letter to President Joe Biden hoping he can address the issue.
"There are too many guns on our streets," said Turner. "We need a federal and nationalized strategy in order to deal with it."