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Beaumont sees slight increase in violent crime in 2020 with 19th homicide

Violent crime decreased over the last 30 years, but homicides are up from 2019.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The early morning shooting on Christmas in Beaumont is not the first time Christmas Day turned into a tragedy. 

A man was found dead last year in the Charlton-Pollard neighborhood. His murder remains unsolved.

Crime statistics from Beaumont Police show violent crime has actually decreased in the last 30 years, but homicides are up from 2019. Officials said this is not the way to end 2020. 

"Everyone should be unwrapping gifts, not unloading guns," Jefferson County Precinct One Justice of the Peace Ben Collins, Sr. said in a statement after Friday morning's fatal shooting. "My prayers go out to the victim's parents and family."

25-year-old Christopher Brown of Orange was shot and killed outside End Zone Sports Lounge off Concord Road just before 2 a.m. Dec. 25. 

Beaumont Police have a murder warrant out for Beaumont resident Fredrick Harden, who is wanted in connection with the shooting. 

Brown's death marks the nineteenth criminal homicide in Beaumont this year, slightly up from the 18 homicides in 2019. 

RELATED: Beaumont Police searching for suspect in early Christmas Day fatal shooting

RELATED: Beaumont Police find body in Charlton-Pollard neighborhood on Christmas morning

"It's horrible the violent crime we're having," Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham said. "The murders, the aggravated assaults. They're just astronomical."

In an interview last month, Wortham said violent crime has been rampant across the county, especially in Beaumont. 

Earlier this month, Beaumont Police assistant chief Jim Clay released data showing overall crime has decreased since the mid 1980s. 

"We don't live in a perfect world, but at the same time, we can't go around saying it's the worst it's ever been," Clay said. 

Beaumont had nearly 40 homicides back in 1994. The closest the city has come to that number was in 2014, when just over 30 murders were reported. 

While property crimes like burglaries and thefts have gone down since 2008, violent crimes like murder and assault have slightly increased over the last four years. 

"It's a shame that we're having so many people shot and killed," Wortham said. 

For the second straight year, Beaumont had a fatal shooting on Christmas. 

Beaumont Police are still looking for Fredrick Harden. Anyone with information about where he is or any information about Marvin Sims' death last Christmas should call Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers or Beaumont Police. 

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