Vigil marks 15 years since deadly shooting at Backstreet Cafe in Roanoke

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - On Tuesday, people came together to remember the victims of a deadly shooting at Backstreet Café. It was 15 years ago that a man walked into the gay bar in Roanoke and opened fire. One person, Danny Overstreet, died and six others were injured.


A candlelight vigil was held outside the bar to mark 15 years since the tragic day.

"15 years, it's still hard" said Anna Sparks who witnessed the shooting. "I still get the flashbacks."

More than two dozen people gathered for the vigil. There was a moment of silence and prayers said for the victims. People at the vigil said they don't want to focus on the negative incident. Instead they want to shed light on the progress made for the LGBT community

"The bar has changed, the community has changed and society has changed" said Deanna Marcin, Backstreet Cafe. "It's way more accepting."

Ronald Gay was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences for the crime.