One of the fastest-growing cities in the country, the capital of Texas is nearing the end of its deadliest year on record in 2021 as cities nationwide are experiencing a rise in homicides and gun violence incidents that began last year when the pandemic tightened its grip on the US.
Fueled by what both authorities and community leaders say is the easy access to guns, Austin has recorded 88 homicides so far this year, shattering the previous high of 59 in 1984.
Chris Harris, a member of the Austin Justice Coalition, a community-led organization addressing criminal justice reform as well as economic and social justice, said most of the violent incidents that occur in the city involve people “who know each other.”
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