Killeen police see spike in murders in 2017

Posted at 1:06 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:48-04

The Killeen Police Department has responded to seven murders in the first three months of 2017, and it's cause for alarm, not just for police, but for citizens, too. 

The robbery that turned into murder last week at Morgan Manor Apartments was the seventh this year. 

Police are concerned because the homicide rate has tripled from the number of murders recorded by this time last year.

Well, in 2016 at this point we had had two homicides. That is cause for concern in reference to just our violent crime in general," Killeen Police Chief Margaret Young said.  

Of the seven murders in Killeen this year, only two have been solved with a total of five arrests. Police don't believe any of the cases are connected because all seem to have their own motive, but there could be some similarities.

"Anybody that is in a high-risk lifestyle has an increased chance of becoming a victim themselves," Chief Young added.

While police are working to solve the five remaining murders, they hope Killeen citizens will work with them...

"...because we all have a stake in this. We're all stakeholders. It's our community," Chief Young said.

So, Chief Young is encouraging everyone to be aware of their surroundings and when something seems out of place, call them.

"People always say, "well, it didn't seem right at the time, but i just wasn't sure, so I didn't want to pick up the phone and have it be a false call." Don't worry about it being a false call. We'd rather come, check it out," Chief Young added. 

"As citizens, people of Killeen, we do need to speak up. A lot of us live by snitching rule, but you know it's getting out of hand," James R. Walker, a 28-year citizen of Killeen, said. 

Walker, a Killeen native admits the city has changed over the past 28 years and doesn't blame anyone for being scared, but...

"I'm, me knowing Killeen, growing up in Killeen, I still feel safe, but now I have to protect myself," Walker added. 

The Killeen Police Department wants to encourage anyone with information on any of the unsolved murders to reach out to authorities. If you don't want to make your report in person, you can always call crime stoppers and remain anonymous.

Killeen's police chief also stressed that if you witness any type of disturbance, no matter where, pick up the phone and call so the situation won't escalate. 

Chief young said by simply making a might just save someone's life. 

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