Priscilla Pfeiffer cant help but smile talking about her son, Richard Richie Wojtasik, who also went by Pocket.

Hed hang out with the older kids, and he was always the smaller one, Pfeiffer recalled. And they called him Pocket He goes, Cause they say they can put me in their pocket!

Even through everything hes been through, he was just a real happy kid, you know?

Pfeiffer says by 15, drugs became part of Wojtasiks life.

Two years ago this month, he was shot and killed at the Royal El Con apartment complex in Midtown at only 31 years old.

Pfeiffer now only has pictures and his urn to remember him.

I thought hardest part was the first month or two, she told KGUN. It gets harder. Because you start realizing he really is gone.

Wojtasiks case is still unsolved. His story is one of many gun violence accounts that seems to blur together.

[People] see it on the news and then they forget about it, said Pfeiffer. The next day, theres another one. You know, theres another one [but I] have to deal with it every day.

Its something Tucson Police have to deal with, too.

TPD Assistant Chief Chris Dennison says the numbers were staggering back in 2020 and 2021.

We were seeing a lot of violent crime that was occurring, a lot of gun violence, a lot of homicides, he said. What weve seen over the past couple of years, weve seen that easing off and weve seen that downward trend.

Homicides, mostly gun-related, have fallen more than 30% in three years, according to TPD. Non-fatal shootings are also down.

Dennison says other police departments around the country are seeing a similar trend.

But I also believe wholeheartedly it is the efforts of the men and women within the department, said Dennison. The programs that have been established that weve been pushing for, that have been hugely impactful.

He says that strategy includes TPDs community response teams, which make it easier to track down known suspects in a certain part of town, as well as stronger partnerships with other agencies, and federal grant money coming in.

That money paved the way for a second NIBIN machine, which uses bullets found at crime scenes to link guns to multiple cases, and additional staffing for it.

TPD has also been able to travel to other departments and bring in outside assessors to evaluate their gun crime response.

TPDs self-reported 89% homicide solve rate is much higher than the national average of 56%.

Were seeing positive trends, but it doesnt take away from the fact that there are real victims on the other side of those numbers, said Dennison.

Wojtasik is one of them. Pfeiffer keeps hoping for justice for her son, but not retribution.

I hope whoever did this, that his mom doesnt have to be in my place, she said.

Anyone with information about Wojtasiks case should call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.