HOUSTON (KIAH) – As our country mourns the loss of children and teachers killed in the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting Tuesday morning, people in our local community are addressing the issues of guns, violence, and crime committed by teens.

Families, business leaders, and Crime Stoppers of Houston all came together to address the rise in crime rates amongst the youth as we head for summer.

At a media conference, Crime Stoppers, Jim McIngvale known as Houston’s “Mattress Mack”, and the Alvarez family of a 9-year-old girl killed in Pasadena, Texas earlier this year at a bank robbery all join forces to address an ongoing issue… kids committing acts of violence in our neighborhoods.

“We all need to support each other because we know what you’re going through. And we want to unite and we want to strengthen each other and come together for change,” said April Aguirre, Auntie of Arlene Alvarez.

Also on Tuesday morning, 19 kids and two teachers were killed when 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. this is according to the Associated Press.

Although this tragedy happened outside of Harris County, this is one example of what can happen in our own communities.

Crime Stoppers says children are more likely to commit a crime after 3:00 p.m. when they are left alone and unsupervised.

“The reality of the matters is that… it’s likely that your kids could get a hold of them. So lock them up – if possible. Know who your kids are hanging out with because these kids can’t get the guns legally. They’re getting them from somewhere,” said Aguirre.

If your child is showing signs of mental illness, violence, drug use, or abuse Crime Stoppers of Houston is asking parents to reach out for help.

“Violent crime results too often in the death of our citizens like this beautiful little girl. So, we are committed at Gallery Furniture using whatever resources we have to make Harris County the safest county in Texas, not the deadliest,” said McIngvale “Mattress Mack”.

One thing everyone emphasized multiple times is … conversation. Talk to your kids about what they see online, in video games, and experience at school, and outside of your care. Lastly, if you have weapons in your home… lock them up!

Summer tips for parents …

  • Enroll your child in summer camps or educational programs
  • If your kid is struggling mentally, seek a therapist or professional help
  • Find a mentor for your child
  • Contact your local law enforcement officers

For more information or resources on fighting crime in Harris County, contact Crime Stoppers by visiting their website or calling (713) 222- TIPS.