HOUSTON -- On Monday it was a backdrop for a murder. On Tuesday it was the backdrop for a politician.

Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall called a press conference outside a small Chinese restaurant on Griggs Road where the owner was recently shot to death.

We are right now facing a crime spree in Houston, Hall said. And our mayor remains silent on this very important issue.

Hall has made it a point to talk about crime. But where he is choosing to talk has some people wondering.

Last month, he spoke at a Denny s where a man died protecting children. The owner of the Chinese restaurant died while blocking his brother from a gunman.

The mayor s office has accused Hall of exploiting these tragic shootings.

It s shameful that Ben Hall continues to exploit tragedies and interfere with ongoing investigations in order to promote his own political campaign, said Sue Davis, a spokesperson for the Annise Parker campaign. This takes Ben Hall s self-dealing to a new extreme.

Hall, however, denies any of that.

He said he is just trying to get the mayor s attention, since she refused several debates with him.

And if we cannot get the attention of the mayor s office down at city hall, the best way to bring it to the attention and the living rooms of all Houstonians is where...the lives of individuals have been tragically taken, Hall said.

His locations have certainly been gaining him attention, but the cost and benefit are still to be determined.

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