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Community Reacts To Recent Shootings On San Antonio's East Side

Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
Mourners gather at sidewalk memorial of balloons, candles and messages where a male teen and two men were shot. The teen and one of the men died. The shooting happened May 28 in the 1500 block of Hays Street.

An east side pastor hopes an outbreak of violent crime at the end of May will not become a trend.

According to police reports, there were three instances of shootings during the week of May 23 and May 30.

One shooting was a drive-by on May 28 in the 1500 block of Hays Street that left a male teen and a young man dead. Another young man was wounded.

Reports indicate the shooting happened in broad daylight and with a out-of-uniform police officer at the location.

The detective was there investigating another shooting that happened earlier in the morning.

Kevin Fausz has worked as a floating pastor at three east side Catholic churches during the last 11 years. He said residents don’t want violent crime to take over the neighborhood just as brighter days appear ahead for areas near Fort Sam Houston.

“It’s hard, especially in a neighborhood where you see change starting to happen,” he said. “It seems like you are getting sucked back into some of the old ways and things that people were used to in the neighborhood.”

Fausz blames the violent crimes in the neighborhood on a lack of education and job opportunities for young men in the area and substance abuse.  He said police seem to be doing what they can to fight crime.

“I think that they are,” he said.  “I think they are continuing to look for ways and strategies to deal with it and to deal with the people who are involved in it. I have always experienced there’s good police presence here.”

Fausz is also a board member of San Antonio for Growth on the East Side or SAGE.

The organization is working to make sure the east side gets its share of the economic revival downtown. They work to grow businesses and jobs and promote the area’s history and culture.

SAGE is hosting a breakfast meeting on July 18 with Police Chief William McManus for residents to share their concerns about crime.

Both District 2 City Council candidates said they will place crime fighting at the top of their agendas if elected.  Both blame a lack of nearby job opportunities for the problem.

Former Councilman Keith Toney and Army veteran Jada Andrews-Sullivan will face off in an election on June 8.

The district might make gains against crime with some steady representation at City Hall. Five different council members have represented the district over the past five years.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.