HOUSTON – Less than 24-hours after Thursday’s tragic murder-suicide, the lines were full at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium, almost as if nothing had happened.
In fact, of all the people interviewed by KPRC 2 Friday evening, most of them had no idea what had transpired inside the Aquarium’s restaurant on Thursday, July 8.
“I wouldn’t expect them to be open,” said visitor Mya Jimenez. “Especially, if something like that happened, and then not to let anybody know.”
The question many had was how could the local and tourist attraction be open the very next day after a shooting that took the lives of two men and wounded a woman. The decision didn’t sit well with some.
“It happened in the restaurant, at least block the restaurant,” said visitor Milton Roiundtree of Dallas. “You got somebody that might sit in the same spot as what just happened.”
Others, like the Johnson family, who were in town from Birmingham, Alabama, learned of the shooting Thursday night.
“We went to social media and checked the details,” said Howard Johnson.
The Johnson’s decided to keep their plans.
“If the police department and the municipality are up on their game and did the proper things and went thoroughly through the investigation and all that,” Johnson said. “Open back up for business.”
Thursday’s tragedy appears to be an isolated incident, according to investigators, but it occurs in the midst of a sharp increase in the city’s murder and crime rates.
Tourists and visitors are aware of the spikes, with some hoping the wave doesn’t create a stigma for Bayou City.
“Houston’s already got this thing about the crime rate being up, the murder rate being up, and stuff,” said resident Heather Adair. “So, it’s something else to hold over.”
A spokesperson with Houston First, the corporation that promotes the city’s convention and entertainment venues, told KPRC 2 that so far there have been no reported concerns from any clients or tourists regarding the increase in crime.