Danville police HEART walk to heal, engage community after deadly shooting

'It really does let them understand that we're here to help.'

DANVILLE, Va. – A suspect is on the loose after a deadly shooting in Danville, so Tuesday, officers branched out into the community. However, police were not looking for leads.

About 20 police officers went on a HEART walk through the latest neighborhood impacted by a deadly shooting, near Paxton Street, Jefferson Street, Temple Avenue and Berryman Avenue.

HEART stands for Heal and Engage After Recent Trauma. The goal is to show that police care about the community and to make sure everyone is coping.

The shooting happened Friday just before 9 p.m. when police say 17-year-old Genesis Horton died after getting shot on the 700 block of Paxton Street.

Tuesday night, officers wanted to inform neighbors that the shooting was a targeted incident, not random, and that police have good leads in the case.

There have been seven homicides so far this year, but because of timing, officers have been on five HEART walks.

Police said the walks have made a difference when it comes to police and community relationships because neighbors can feel safer, validated and heard.

"I think it just lets them know that the police are here for them, and we're working with them as part of the community. It's not necessarily an us-against-them type atmosphere," said Danville Police Capt. Jerry Pace. "I think it really does let them understand that we're here to help."

Police planned to visit 55 homes in the neighborhood and were joined by Danville Pittsylvania Community Services and other partners to offer counseling or other resources if people need them.

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