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Violent weekend in Dallas: Children among latest victims in problem plaguing city

The violence is emblematic of the increase in crime the city has seen in the past year.

This story has been updated to revise the toddler's age. Dallas police initially said the toddler was 2 years old, but the Dallas County Medical Examiner's later said the child was a few weeks from turning 2. 

A 1-year-old was shot and killed. An 8-year-old was grazed by a bullet.

They were just two of the victims of several apparent drive-by shootings that happened overnight Sunday, according to Dallas police.

Another man was wounded in the shooting that killed the 1-year-old. A separate man is in critical condition after he was shot while driving in Southeast Dallas late Saturday. 

All three incidents happened within six hours of each other, according to Dallas police.

It was a violent night in an already-violent weekend, the first of the new year.

A 47-year-old man was shot and killed Thursday night in southeast Oak Cliff. A separate person was critically injured when they were shot during a robbery Friday night. 

The first homicide of 2020 in Dallas happened on New Year's Day. 

The violence is emblematic of the increase in crime the city has seen in the past year.

In 2019, the city had recorded 209 murders – a death toll that’s about 30% higher than the prior year. It is the highest number since 2005, which had 202, a federally-reported statistic.

That tally does not include all homicides in Dallas. The Dallas Police Department also recorded at least 10 justifiable homicides, which are sent to a grand jury. 

RELATED: Dallas just had its deadliest year since 2005

Crime statistics obtained by WFAA from Jan. 1 through Dec. 30 of 2019 also show other violent crime categories went up dramatically in the past year.

There was a 14% increase in robberies and a 19% increase in aggravated assaults, the statistics show.

City officials are hoping to combat those increases in the new decade, but seem divided over how to do so. 

Police Chief Reneé Hall released her Violent Crime Reduction Plan to the public on Thursday. The 2020 crime plan includes increasing the number of investigators working for the Dallas Police Department, adding civilian analysts and establishing a 100-member violent crime reduction team. 

The 26-page report was sent to city leaders on New Year’s Eve in response to the mayor’s request for a comprehensive crime-fighting plan by the end of the year. 

The document was the first written report detailing Hall’s crime-fighting plan during her two-year tenure as chief. 

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson called the plan "a start." 

He said he was pleased to see the chief refer to the crime reduction plan as a "living document" because he has "some concerns that I hope to see addressed in the coming weeks." 

RELATED: 'I have some concerns': Dallas mayor says of police chief's 2020 crime plan

The chief’s plan acknowledges the increases in violent crime and sets a goal to reduce all violent crime across the city by 5% this year compared to last year. 

"We should strive to reduce homicides, aggravated assaults, and robberies to 2018 levels citywide, at least," Johnson said in the statement. "And over the next five years, our aim should be to reduce violent crime back to the historic lows this city saw in 2013 and 2014." 

Still, some city officials fear 2020 could be even worse.

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