The Houston police chief says that the city is experiencing "unprecedented" violence because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
In one alarming incident, police say Kendrick Dante Thomas shot his pregnant ex-girlfriend, her sister, and their mother. The ex-girlfriend and the baby died from their injuries. He later found and shot his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.
Thomas was surrounded by the police but he shot and killed himself.
"Sadly, this appears to be a case of domestic violence turned deadly," said Police Chief Art Acevedo, according to KHOU.
"The last few months have been a time frame of just some unprecedented violence," he added, "put up some prayers for this evil series of events that are going on in our city."
"This is just the tip of the iceberg"
Crime victims' advocate Andy Kahan warned that the violence will get worse because of the bail reform measures passed by city officials.
"Murder has just skyrocketed," said Kahan. "I haven't seen levels like this in quite a while. And I think this is just the tip of the iceberg."
"Crooks, criminals, you chill!"
At the end of March, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was faced with ridicule over his comments pleading with criminals to "just chill" while they battled the pandemic.
"Stay home, OK? Stay home. And don't commit any crimes!" Turner said at a media briefing.
"And that way, they'll stay safe and out of jail, and police officers can stay safe and go home to their families, OK?" Turner added. "So everybody chill! Crooks, criminals, you chill! Wait until the coronavirus is over! OK, and then we'll all be OK!"
Apparently, the criminals didn't heed his plea.
"You've got a powder keg out there waiting to explode," said Kahan.
Here's a local news video about Houston violence:
Houston's police chief says city is experiencing 'unprecedented violence' during COVID-19 pandemic www.youtube.com
Update: Police Chief Art Acevedo's title was corrected.