13 Investigates examines the cost of gun violence and how the Houston Police Department solves shootings across Houston
HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — A woman was hiding behind a trash can outside a small venue in far southeast Houston when someone started screaming.
“Stand up. Get up,” she recalls as they yelled at her. “They will shoot you if you keep sitting there.”
The woman started to run, but as soon as she turned a corner, she stopped moving.
“I fell onto my side really hard and I was like, ‘Why don’t I run anymore?’ because I remember running,” said the shooting victim, who did not name 13 investigates because no suspect was identified. “I look around and say, ‘Don’t tell me I was shot.’ There I was. There was my panic, and then I looked down and I was just like I was about to burst out.
As she lay bleeding on the ground after being shot in the abdomen, she saw flashing lights and people jumping over her and began begging, “Please help me. don’t leave me here.”
At that moment she felt alone. She said she has continued to feel alone in the nearly 10 months since the shooting as she waits to hear from Houston police.
“I don’t know who it is. It’s eating me alive not knowing who it is,” the victim told 13 Investigates’ Ted Oberg. “I’m more upset with the police because I’m like, ‘Are you guys even helping people who are going through this?'”
13 Research found the Houston Police Department solves about 84% of homicides — Homicide’s homicide detective rate stands at 84% Monday — but when it comes to shootings in which one victim survives, those cases are less likely to be solved, which is thousands of victims leaves awaiting replies every year.
In the first six months of this year, HPD responded to 2,530 serious firearms assaults, but only resolved 24% of those cases.
As defined by HPD, resolved cases include those whose status is listed as “resolved” or “closed,” or has a status of “suspended – patrolled” or “inactive – warrant filed.”
Over the past three and a half years, HPD has solved approximately 30% of the 15,567 serious firearm assaults.
“I don’t think any of us are comfortable with that. We’d like the number to be higher, but the number is the number,” Houston Deputy Police Commissioner Wyatt Martin told Oberg. “There are so many factors that go into this number. do we have a witness Do we have information on a suspect that we can prosecute? In these cases we get no cooperation from the victim. We don’t get cooperation from witnesses. We have no security camera footage or anything that we could use to identify this individual. To some it seems like murders tend to come up more leads for one reason or another.”
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So far this year, at least 702 people have been shot and injured in Houston, an average of about four people a day. That doesn’t include the hundreds shot and killed annually across the city.
Martin said the department investigating nonfatal shootings — along with others across the HPD — could always use more detectives.
When we asked about the current workload of investigators in the Serious Assault and Domestic Violence Unit, we found that as of September 15, there were only 180 active severe assaults involving a deadly weapon. The 180 includes instances where a firearm was not the weapon.
We asked HPD how many grievous bodily harm cases are inactive, but the department couldn’t tell us.
HPD’s Major Assaults Division said in a statement investigators try, but are not always able, to pull off every shooting scene.
“These cases are being worked through to completion, either through the filing of charges, the inactivation of the case when all leads are exhausted, or through other investigative means. If there are no leads or all leads are exhausted, the case will be moved to inactive status. If new information arrives later, such as a lead, new physical evidence or a new witness, the investigation will resume,” the statement said. “In each of these cases there is a victim who has been physically injured or traumatized or both. HPD recognizes the importance of each of these cases, but unfortunately sometimes there are no useful leads and a case has to be deactivated.”
Tonight after Monday Night Football, the Houston Police Department is telling 13 Investigations the roadblocks they face solving non-fatal shootings and the one area of the city where those incidents have worsened. You will also learn more about the victim in this story, which explains the moment she felt hopeless about her case.
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https://abc13.com/houston-unsolved-shooting-survivor-victim-survives-13-investigates/12268767/ 13 Investigates examines the cost of gun violence and how the Houston Police Department solves shootings across Houston