Bryan-College Station shootings: 3 killed, 1 injured in less than a week
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) -The Bryan-College Station area has seen several shootings this year. Since Sunday, there have been four shootings resulting in three deaths.
On Sunday night Bryant Blankley was found dead in his car in College Station. One person was shot on Tuesday afternoon at an apartment complex in the 2000 block of Kazmeier Plaza in Bryan. Wednesday, two people were found shot and died on the scene at Henderson Park in Bryan.
Community members and officials have taken notice.
J.J. Ramirez is the founder of SOS Ministries in Bryan. He’s worked for several years to help keep guns out of the hands of young people and get them off the streets. He says the uptick in gun violence is concerning.
“Since 2010, we’ve had very little, if any gang-related violence. What I’m seeing trending right now is a lot of these shootings are random. They’re not connected,” said Ramirez. “I think it just goes to the signs of the times. Part of it is where we’re at in society and the unrest that is everywhere.”
Many of the recent shootings also involve young people, which Ramirez says is concerning.
“When adults can’t make right decisions, it’s going to be hard for the young people. What I understood are the recent shootings. I think the average age is 14 to 21. There’s something wrong,” said Ramirez. “So we even here are adjusting to see what’s happening. We’re praying and believing and building a strategy right now on how to go deal with this.”
The city of College Station has seen a large increase in gun-related crimes this year, with 116 so far this year compared to 73 in 2020. Tristen Lopez, the public information officer for the College Station Police Department, says crimes have increased. Still, the increase is a small percentage when you look at the total number of crimes in College Station.
“The numbers this year, year to date is right at about 3% of our total crimes in College Station. Some have some kind of gun-related to them. When you look at that, our most prevalent crimes continue to be mostly property theft-type crimes.,” said Lopez.
Lopez says factors like drugs, mental health, domestic violence, and even the pandemic factor into the rise in crimes.
“What’s important to remember is that all of these crimes are independent of each other, and they have their own factors that contribute to them,” said Lopez. Some of them are mental health. Some of it is illegal drugs or narcotics. Some of it is domestic violence-related. “We don’t know to what extent COVID may have contributed to that. For example, people have been cooped up, and now they’re outside more, maybe a little restless.”
Ramirez says despite the root of the problem, it’s up to the community to get involved and help make a difference.
“Instead of pointing to the darkness, we need to penetrate it with the light, and so we’ve got to find out where the darkness is and go penetrate it with the light of the gospel. That’s what our motto is,” said Ramirez.
“So something’s going wrong, something’s happening. And so what do we do? We’ve got to do something. I can’t sit still. I’m just that one kind of person,” said Ramirez. “God has called me to go back to where I’ve come back from and try to be a voice, try to be a help, give a voice for those that don’t have a voice. So right now, we’re sending our teams to some of these locations and some of these places. We are already sending buses into some of these locations where a couple of shootings have happened before just to be there. But now we’re sending some adults and some younger adults, and we want to go back into those communities and see what we can do to reach out, so they don’t have to make those choices.”
The Bryan Police Department released the following stats and statementsgun-related.
|Gun crime statistics February 18, 2020- August 18, 2020||Gun crime statistics February 18, 2021- August 18, 2021|
The College Station Police Department released the following stats
|Gun Crimes January 1, 2021- August 19, 2021||Gun Crimes January 1, 2020- August 19, 2020||Gun Crimes January 1, 2019- August 19, 2019|
|TOTAL = 116 gun crimes of 3,862 total offenses||TOTAL = 73 gun crimes of 3,612 total offenses||TOTAL = 69 gun crimes of 2,809 total offenses|
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