More people were murdered in Austin in 2020 than in any year in the last decade. Here are their names.
Two days before New Year's Day, 21-year-old Miranda Gloria Lopez died of a gunshot wound. She was shot three days before during a road rage incident that is still being investigated, according to the Austin Police Department.
Lopez was Austin's last homicide victim in 2020, a year in which 48 people were killed. This represents a 33% increase since 2019, when 36 homicides were reported and marked at least a 10-year high.
Cathy Collins, a crime victims advocate at the Christi Center in Central Austin, saw an increased demand for services in 2020 due to the high number of homicides.
"People are COVID crazy," she told Austonia, adding that she thinks the pandemic and its economic impact have driven some people to commit heinous crimes. It has also affected her work as an advocate.
"Zoom has been challenging, but at least we have something for these members," she said.
Collins lost her teenage boyfriend and later her brother to homicides and knows the long-term support that many violent crime victims require, sometimes decades after their loved one's death. "It's on the front burner for me," she said.
In a trying year that included the coronavirus pandemic, mass protests against police violence, economic hardship and a divisive election, Austonia recognizes those who were murdered. Here are their names and—where available through obituaries, fundraising pages and local reports—a look at their lives.
Dec. 29: Miranda Gloria Lopez, 21, was known as "Mannie" by her loved ones.
Dec. 8: Craig Robinson, 51
Dec. 2: Omar Munguia, 20
Nov. 27: Ahlame Qourzale, 26, enjoyed traveling, sampling international cuisine, playing tennis and "the highest level of fashion."
Nov. 8: Alex Arce, 25, was the life of the party, known for his contagious laugh and beautiful smile.
Nov. 7: Mario Robinson, 23, played high school football and loved sports cars, fashion and professional racing.
Nov. 6: Jerry Paul Lee, 60, watched the film "Remember the Titans" so many times his wife and son can recite every line.
Oct. 30: Jose Francisco Galeano Antunez, 38, is missed dearly by his wife, Lourdes Mejia Gonzalez.
Oct. 26: Xavier McLemore, 34
Oct. 25: Terrence Cole, 28
Oct. 8: Darius Jonathan Maxwell, 39
Oct. 1: Donato Christian Ward, 20
Sept. 29: Luke Kemper, 16, was one of the best students his third-grade teacher ever had.
Sept. 16: John Young, 60
Sept. 4: Desmond Alexander Herrera, 25
Aug. 27: Amy Lynn Warner, 51, had been through a lot but was always smiling.
Aug. 26: Derrick Amoriko, 51, loved the city of Austin.
Aug. 26: Paul Brown, 21, was known as "Speedy."
Aug. 22: Dontra Jamol Kinsey, 27
Aug. 18: Nicklas Kinslow, 32
July 25: Garrett Foster, 28, fell in love with his fiancée when they were both 17 and later served as her caretaker.
July 20: Karen Sue Henson, 59, was the eldest of seven siblings and an advocate for the homeless.
July 19: Trevon Jaquis Mize-Ellison, 20, only wanted to look out for people.
July 16: Dettrick Dwayne Arnold Harris, 20, was a little handyman and always loved to help his grandpa around the house.
July 13: James Anthony Walker, 38, had just become a father to a precious baby boy.
July 8: Guadalupe Sanchez Jr., 36 was a loving father to two sons and enjoyed dancing with his dog, Chico.
June 28: Aaron Perez, 50
June 24: Darnell McClain, 37, was a lifelong Austinite known as "Dino."
June 23: Adelaido Bernabe Urias, 68, was a beloved neighborhood ice cream man.
June 20: David Dunn, 59
June 19: Anthony Hebert, 19, was pursuing a career as a truck driver and was known for his love of music.
May 28: James Lewis Allen Jr., 38, was described as loving, caring and strong by his loved ones.
April 16: Brian Hoff, 50 was a lover of the outdoors, drawing and skiing and raised sheep for livestock shows.
April 13: Saundra Jo Vollette, 60, was a lively Austin Yellow Checker Cab dispatcher and is survived by her children and many grandchildren.
March 29: Kalvin "Nunu" Anderson, 24, shined as a track star and football player while a student at Manor High School and will be remembered for his "heart of gold."
March 26: Zach Ledbetter, 24, was a loving son and faithful church-goer who will be remembered for his hugs and bright smile.
March 26: Julio Enriue Saqui Tzalam, 17
March 22: Lekita ReVette Hurd, 30, served four years in the Army, with two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was known for her love of the Dallas Cowboys.
March 13: Oscar San Juan Jaimes, 19
Feb. 23: Shawn Thomas Eaton, 29, was an artist who loved to tinker with anything he could get his hands on.
Feb. 18: Casuandra Hernandez, 30, and Emilio Maisonet, 29
Feb. 17: Elvi Vanessa Cervantes-de la Torre, 38
Jan. 23: David Garcia, 38
Jan. 17: Pearl Calvery, 22 months
Jan. 17: Chase Collins, 26, loved collecting designer belts and never met a challenge he could not overcome.
Jan. 11: Isaac Dixon, 37
Jan. 3: Jonathan Aguilar, 34, will be remembered for his genuine and caring nature.
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Austin FC couldn't find the stamina to fight off a 2-0 loss against LAFC for their inaugural match on Saturday.
The match, which saw No. 21 Austin FC go head-to-head with No. 2 LAFC in Los Angeles, was broadcast nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes.
Salute the support. 👏
It's only the beginning for @AustinFC. pic.twitter.com/TduorqYr2y
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 18, 2021
Eleven players took the stage as Austin FC players for the first time, with five starters making their MLS debut. "Ringleader" Alex Ring took the captain's armband and wore it well. The defensive midfielder could be seen leading his teammates through their first ever match, but it wasn't enough to stage an Austin takeover in LA.
In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team played with quickness and intensity, nearly connecting on several fast breaks. It was harder for them to stay in front, however, something that Wolff credits with quick decision making and a tough LAFC defense.
"We have a quick attacking team, but I think when you make quick attacks and it fizzles it's just about some decision making," Wolff said. "Are we in position to finish attacks? If not, can we reestablish our attack and get stuff better?"
The club was given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
LA pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense wasn't initially as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and a 34-year old Matt Besler held his own in center back.
As the second half commenced, however, it became clear that LAFC had the advantage over Austin's first major league team.
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver had his work cut out for him, fending off 24 shot attempts, 11 of which were on goal. He didn't have much time to prepare, either: in the first 30 seconds of play, Stuver had already made a save to keep the match 0-0.
LAFC finally connected in the 61st minute of play as Corey Baird shot one into the bottom right corner. The team capitalized off their momentum and put one past Stuver a second time, drawing roars of approval from the LAFC crowd.
While some last-minute attempts from Jon Gallagher and others were made, Austin FC didn't have the endurance to bring a tie. After seven additional minutes of stoppage time, the club lost their first match 2-0.
While the scoreboard tells one story, Wolff said that the team did well considering the skill of LAFC and the pressure of their club debut.
"We've got to be realistic," Wolff said. "This is the first time this organization has been in front of TV with an opportunity to show itself and I think there were some promising moments. And we're going to maximize those and continue to try to develop those, but there's lots to build on."
The team may have lost, but it still won the support of thousands of Verde fans, dozens of which made it to watch their team's first match. When Stuver and the team made it to bthe stadium, Los Verdes fans were already there to show support, and Stuver said his wife saw the same back in Austin.
"The moment that we pulled into the stadium, we saw Black and Verde fans cheering us on as we got to the stadium," Stuver said. "During warm up, you can just look around and see different groups sitting in different sections of the stadium and it's just truly amazing to see the support in our first game. We know that we want to give the fans everything, because this we play for the city and we play for them."