Bexar County saw a 31% uptick in homicides from 2019 to 2020, the medical examiner’s office reported in a release Friday.

In 2020, the medical examiner’s office investigated 16,200 deaths, or 84% of all deaths in Bexar County, while 13,688 deaths were investigated in 2019. Of those investigations, 208 of the deaths in 2020 were homicides compared to 159 in 2019.

That increase mirrors that of the United States’ statistics. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, homicides rose by 30% across the country from 2019 to 2020. The city of San Antonio saw a smaller uptick of 22% in that same period. The cause of that increase is unclear.

The medical examiner’s office also reported 138 deaths were caused by or contributed to by COVID-19. It did not investigate all deaths caused by COVID-19. As of Friday, 4,959 people in Bexar County have died from the coronavirus, according to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of death in Bexar County in 2020, according to a Metro Health report from earlier this year, ranking behind heart disease and cancer.

The gender breakdown of COVID-19 related deaths investigated by the medical examiner’s office was stark: the number of men who died from COVID-19 was more than twice the number of women who perished. Most of the deaths it reported also occurred during July 2020 and December 2020, following the spikes in coronavirus transmission in Bexar County that year.

Find the medical examiner’s annual reports here.

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is the local government reporter at the San Antonio Report.