As the July 4th holiday approaches, the Harris County Sheriff’s office and the East Aldine District have cautioned residents against shooting guns as part of their celebration of the events.
Each year persons are injured by bullets that fly into the air, and then come down and hit someone. In the past, these injuries have ranged from minor to fatal, and often involve someone in the shooters group of friends or family.
This activity is against the law, and is subject to a $4000 fine and one year in jail, according to HCSO.
East Aldine Management District (EAMD) held their regular monthly board meeting last Tuesday night, and considered the problem of public safety and citizen reports of increased crime in some neighborhoods.
At several of the board meetings, citizens have come forward to report robberies, gunfire, and other problems in their areas.
Recently, the board heard of persistent nighttime gunfire on Ladin Road and the Castlewood subdivision. Another citizen complained of car and house robberies in neighborhoods along Mooney Road. They said there is increased drug activity near them. Others have reported to the board, or sheriff’s office, or even this newspaper, of a “serial burglary ring” in the Oakwilde neighborhood.
East Aldine District pays for contract deputies in addition to regular sheriff and constable patrols. The DRT/Pro-Active unit consists of 10 deputies and one sergeant that spend 70% of their time on District patrols. For this service the District last year budgeted $770,000. With the increased reports of crime, they have voted to add three more deputies and another sergeant to this force.
Board member Reyes Garcia said that these new deputies should be assigned to the evening shift, where much of the crime is occurring.
Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the shooting of two men in the Pine Forest North subdivision. The incident occurred about 11:30 am last Thursday morning. The location was in the service alley behind townhomes in the 5700 block of Easthampton Drive, according to authorities.
About 20 shots were fired into the windshield of a Jeep Liberty. According to HCSO Homicide investigator Lt. Robert Minchew, the driver was killed, and the passenger is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken by ambulance to Ben Taub hospital, where his condition is unknown.
The two African-American male victims were in their 20s, but at this time their identity has not been announced. A motive for the shooting is not known.
Community leaders and residents of Northeast Houston, including North Forest and some areas in Sheldon and Old Beaumont Gardens, were disappointed to learn that Governor Abbott had vetoed SB390, which would have created a Redevelopment District for their area.
It was expected that the new district would have been a boost to economic development in the area, and also bring other quality of life improvements such as increased police patrols, water and sewer improvements, and more educational opportunities, similar to other Management Districts.
State Senator Borris Miles, who represents the area and was the major sponsor of the bill, issued the following statement: “I am very disappointed and shocked with the Governor’s veto of SB 390, which would create the Northeast Houston Redevelopment District. The governor’s office did not indicate any problem with this bill until late in the session but worked with my staff on changes to eliminate concerns and even helped clear procedural hurdles to get the bill passed. This part of Senate District 13 has been in desperate need of economic development for years and was one of the areas hit the hardest by Hurricane Harvey.