AUSTIN (KXAN) – A group of downtown business and building owners tired of the violence in the area met with Austin Police, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and City Councilor Kathie Tovo on Monday to discuss concerns about gun violence downtown.
This meeting took place outside of the bimonthly meetings that take place as part of the Downtown Austin Alliance.
In the two weeks between Halloween and mid-November, two people were gunned down inside the Lodge on East Sixth Street. On November 18, one person was shot dead in Sixth and Neches.
“It’s hard to get people to eat in your restaurant when they’re afraid of what might happen to them,” said Gary Manley, owner of Iron Cactus.
Jeff Greenwalt, downtown Austin Police Department commander, said KXAN meetings like these are imperative to finding a solution to downtown security. He said: “it takes a community to change systems and policies”, and the contribution of all concerned is productive.
Greenwalt said 174 guns had been seized from the downtown patrol district since the start of the year. This includes five takes between November 23 and 29.
KXAN speaks with Councilor Tovo about the meeting later this afternoon. We will update this article with this information.