HOUSTON - The Houston Police Department are reporting over a dozen homicides over Memorial Day weekend. This comes as violent crimes continue to rise to record highs.
Angelia Roy is trying to stay strong after her common law husband, 33-year-old Ellis Harris, was shot and killed after a car wreck near the 6800 block of the North Freeway.
It happened around 4 p.m. last Friday.
"You know, I gotta stay strong. Ellis always tells me every day to be strong. Don’t cry. You know, go on with life. He always tells me that he doesn’t want me crying," Roy said.
Ellis leaves behind a 7-year-old and a son he’s never met. Roy is six months pregnant.
"He didn’t deserve that. He’s a good person, very kindhearted. No matter what he ever did or what he said to anybody, he’s a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good son, a good brother. He’s a good man. He did not deserve to die like that, and he would never do that to nobody," Roy said.
Houston Police believe nearby surveillance video captured the incident, but so far, no suspects have been named.
This is one of just 13 murders that happened this past weekend alone. It’s part of a larger issue of rising violent crime.
As of Tuesday morning, HPD says there have been 190 homicides in the city this year. Compare that to 145 murders this time last year, a 31% increase.
Houston City Councilmember at Large-1 and former police officer Mike Knox attributes the rising crime to the court system that's backlogged because of the pandemic.
"It’s not just the police that keep you safe. The police are the first line of that criminal justice system. But the real issue is what are we doing with the people that we’re catching. Are we releasing them? Are we doing catch and release or are we doing catch and hold accountable?" Knox said.
Knox believes repeat criminals are only getting a slap on the wrist.
"The police are arresting people. Regularly and often. And then they’re introducing them into the system, and the system is letting them back out. Six years ago, we were at a decline of all crime. And nowadays, it’s at an increase. What's changed? Well, what's changed is the quality of the judges that we have in Harris County. They’ve taken this liberal idea that we should give people a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 15th, 20th chance to straighten up. And the fact of the matter is, they’re not. They’re coming back out and committing more crime," Knox said.
As for Roy, she says she has a suspicion of who’s responsible for murdering her husband.
"I just want to say to the person responsible: everybody has their day. Eventually, everything’s going to come to light and that person will be caught," Roy said.