HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — Sheriff Ed Gonzalez spoke to reporters outside of a homicide scene on Thursday about the rising problem of domestic violence in Harris County after a woman was shot to death with her baby in her hands.
“There was a couple living here who had domestic violence-related issues for some time now,” Gonzalez said.
This is unfortunately nothing new for Gonzalez, who said domestic violence-related cases make up a bulk of the homicides in Harris County.
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the most recent numbers counted 106 homicides in the county so far this year, with 35% of those cases related to domestic violence. This does not include Houston Police Department cases.
Deputies are investigating two domestic violence-related homicides in a two-day span this week.
Greg Hightower, a military recruiter, is accused of killing his wife while she was being interviewed by the Naval Criminal Investigative Services about a report she made against him being abusive.
The next day, on Friday, a standoff with SWAT in northwest Harris County ended with a man killing his wife’s step father before turning the gun on himself. According to deputies, the deadly shooting started with a mother’s frantic call to 911, saying her 28-year-old son-in-law was armed and assaulting her daughter.
“Domestic violence is such an awful situation that we have to be aware of. And there are wonderful resources like the Houston Area Women’s Center and their 24-hour hotline,” Gonzalez said. “If you find yourself in an abusive situation, start coordinating an exit plan. These situations can turn violent.”
The Harris County District Attorney’s office also has a list of resources for victims of domestic violence situations seeking help.
If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).
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