Roanoke residents worry about safety following recent shooting at Ms. Choc's Lounge

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - People who live in the Melrose neighborhood said, at times, they don't feel safe. Their concerns are due, in part, to incidents along the 2300 block of Melrose Ave. The establishment now known as Ms. Choc's Lounge has changed ownership and names over the years but people who live nearby said traffic and crime problems remain.

"People coming together and bringing a lot of negative energy that doesn't belong in our neighborhood," said Ann Marie, a concerned resident.

Over the weekend, four people were injured after shots were fired inside Ms. Choc's Lounge, said police. According to the Roanoke City Police Department, when officers arrived at the scene a large crowd of nearly 150 people ran out of the establishment. Officers responded and began rendering aid to those that had injuries. Police said their investigation revealed that an argument among multiple patrons started and quickly turned into a physical altercation and shots were fired. The latest incident happened less than one month after a teen was found shot in the leg in the businesses parking lot. Neighbors said something needs to be done to prevent future crimes.

"There needs to be a lot of changes here" said Ann Marie. "Maybe we come together as a community and try to bring our community back."

Police said their I-STAR crime tracking data found 27 calls for service at the specific address for Ms. Choc's since January 1, 2015.  Call types including 7 calls regarding shooting in city, 4 calls for disorderly persons, 3 calls for malicious wounding. Police said they boosted patrols in the area before Sunday's shooting. They will continue to have an increased presence in the area.

According to the city's GIS website, DGW Enterprises LLC is listed as the owner of the building on Melrose. Calls to the phone number listed did not go through.