AUSTIN (KXAN) — People who live and work near the Northwend Shopping Center on North Lamar Boulevard said they were worried about going to work Monday after three people were shot in the early morning.
“I didn’t come to work today,” said Farah Lynch. “What are we going to do about public safety?”
According to the latest update from police, two groups of people began shooting each other around the time the Rodeo Night Club closed. Police say two men and one woman went to the hospital.
“We need to focus on upstream measures,” said Monica Guzmán, who is on the City’s Reimagining Public Safety Task force. “The root cause. Why are people unsheltered? Why are people shooting at each other? Whatever it is, focus on that.”
Just blocks away from where Monday’s shooting happened, police are still investigating after a Leander police officer shot and killed a man at an extended-stay hotel. The week prior – multiple locations in the Rundberg area were part of a string of armed robberies that ended with a shooting near The Domain.
KXAN looked up Austin Police Department crime data for the area and found a steady increase from 2018 to 2021.
Guzmán says this isn’t just happening in the Rundberg neighborhood.
“Yes, we have problems. But we’re not the only community in the city that has problems,” she said, mentioning the crime on Sixth Street and East Riverside Drive.
The crime data KXAN observed showed crime in the Rundberg area was overall the lowest between 2012 and 2016. 2016 is when federal funding for Restore Rundberg ran out, a safety program aimed at curbing crime in the area.
In 2013, the project, alongside the APD, received a three-year, $1 million Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant from the Department of Justice. When the federal funding ran out, Guzmán said she and other community members tried to keep the program growing but had to stop in 2019.