(HPD Graphic of reported murder on 1/14)
Another murder yesterday in the Richmond corridor (Pagewood-Rocky Road near the Tanglewilde subdivision) makes it two more in January. That means there have been thirteen murders, nine of which occurred in or near the apartments located in this community since January 1st, 2013. There were only four homicides in residential locations in the Westwood area over the same time period. As I pointed out in the last post, the Richmond corridor is likely your real crime hot spot, not Westwood, where if you stay away from the seedy motels and nightclubs you are pretty safe.
“Police said the young mother was ambushed by the shooter, who approached her from behind, shot her several times and took off running.
Sgt. Cisneros said there were kids and parents everywhere when this happened. Police said one woman was sitting in her van waiting to pick up her child when a stray bullet struck her back window.
“There were numerous people out picking up children at that time. There was an ice cream truck selling ice cream to kids when this took place,” Cisneros said. “As she was walking along this path here, along the sidewalk, she was approached by a Hispanic male who shot her multiple times.”
This latest shooting was really serious, with a stray bullet hitting a nearby van with kids inside. Witnesses reported what might have been a previous attempt with shots fired about a month ago. The victim was unharmed that time.
Some might wonder why I consider this a big deal. Well here’s what I wrote eighteen months ago about a similar crime surge type story about our neighborhood. And yes, since Westwood falls inside the Sharpstown Management District boundaries, and is even a distinct zone, we are identified with it. Snip from 2012:
In fact, there were almost 1,400 property crimes (burglary, theft, and auto thefts) in the Galleria area from January to March this year (2012), which is more than double the amount in Sharpstown. As you can see, the details tell a much different story. To be clear, the homicide and sexual assault rate is negligible both in quantity and the change from last year and there was virtually no difference in either area.
One could have simply struck the name Sharpstown and inserted Galleria, acquired a few quotes from the Galleria Management District, and had the same story. How about the headline “Galleria Area Robberies Double Last Year’s Rate”? First, it would be true, and second it would more accurately reflect the location of these so-called crime hotspots.”
So the lesson about this current piece for reporters, and all of us, is that while anecdotes and stories are compelling, when you publish a data driven article you have to look beyond the data points, and try to understand what might really be happening. In this case, while the Westwood area no doubt has its’ problems, which include many, many apartment burglaries and robberies, homicides are not as significant for residents. We can only continue to set the record straight, and point out that these events are occurring as close to Sharpstown, as the Galleria is to the Richmond-Westheimer corridor.