HOUSTON - The city of Houston reached a grim milestone this week with more than 100 homicides so far this year.
Through March 16, there had been 103 homicides within Houston city limits. In comparison, there had been 91 through the same day last year.
"It could happen to anyone," said Augusta Williams. "It’s all about being safe, being aware, and avoiding certain situations."
In February, Williams was one of five people shot outside Spivey’s Club in Houston’s Third Ward.
"Nobody, I don’t care how tough you are, wants to live in a city or environment where you’re in danger all the time," said Williams. "Especially raising our families. We have to think about the kids at this point."
"We are in a public health crisis," said Andy Kahan from Crime Stoppers. "The crisis is the amount of people getting murdered in the city and the county."
According to Kahan, their office has been busier than it has been in years helping families impacted by homicides.
"I’m having personally, a hard time keeping up with the number of report flyers we’re putting out and talking to victims’ families," said Kahan. "I’ve been doing this 30 years, and I’ve not seen a situation where I found ourselves in right now."
"I can understand you’re not feeling safe," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "There’s no question there’s far too much crime in our city, then there’s any comfort level for."
In early February, Mayor Turner announced a new $44 million crime prevention plan.
"We are deploying our resources based on data and analytics we are receiving," said Turner. "We will move to wherever that crime is. Last night for example, on the north side. We move very quickly."
Through late January, homicides were up roughly 73% within Houston city limits compared to last year. Now, murders are still up in Houston, but by 13%.
"We’re not nearly where we need to be, but I do like the direction where things are going," said Turner.
A spokesperson from Houston police says roughly 70%t of their homicides cases this year have been cleared. Meaning, arrests have been made, there are warrants out for arrests, or there are grand jury referrals.
Last weekend, Williams held a "guns down" event with several friends impacted by recent gun violence. Williams says he’s now on a mission to help spread a message of peace. Williams says they plan to hold more "guns down" events soon.
"My thing is, to encourage people to put the guns down," said Williams. "I’m trying to get people to think. Do less acting, acting on impulse and hurting people."