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‘Heartbreaking to see’: Neighbors react after man shot, killed in officer-involved shooting in Roanoke County

Happened in the 4900 block of Lantern Street at 7 p.m. on Friday

A Roanoke County man was shot and killed by police Friday night after a domestic dispute call.


A Roanoke County man was shot and killed by police Friday night after a domestic dispute call.

Authorities have identified the man as 52-year-old Shawn Alan Smith, of Roanoke County.

The incident began at about 7 p.m. with officers called to the 4900 block of Lantern Street in the North Lakes area after a report of a domestic dispute involving a weapon.

Roanoke County Police say while at the scene, they set up a perimeter and tried to talk to Smith, who was inside of the home; however. he was non-compliant and at one point he unexpectedly left the home and “engaged with an officer.”

That’s when two shots were fired. Authorities say Smith was fatally wounded in the incident.

Neighbors called it an unimaginable scene but are ready to support the victim’s family in any way.

Calling it a surreal sight, Briea Huneault never thought she would see her long-time neighbor get shot to death by police.

“One of those ‘oh God’ kind of moments, especially since you knew the person,” she said.

Brandon Huneault watched when officers piled up on Lantern Street and grabbed their weapons.

In witness footage provided to 10 News, you can hear neighbors gasp after hearing two gunshots.

“Right after you hear the shots, I know me and anybody else who was around that area that was watching what was going on,” Brandon said. “It was like a very awkward silence for like three or four seconds. Everybody was kind of in disbelief that this had just happened right here in front of us.”

Briea said Smith was a kind, quiet man and would wave once in a while.

“He wasn’t really the type of person to cause an issue to where we would have expected something like this,” she said.

“If he was outside he would chat with you or talk about his boat, about riding motorcycles or any of his hobbies and it’s really heartbreaking to see all that happen,” Brandon said.

As the neighborhood mourns, the Huneaults said they are ready to support the Smith family in any way they can.

“As a community, as a North Lakes neighborhood that’s what we are going to give them,” Briea said. “Support and things that they need.”

According to officials, the officer was not injured. Per department policy, the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

Police say this incident remains under investigation.


Roanoke County police went to the scene of an officer-involved shooting Friday, officials said.

Police went to the 4900 block of Lantern Street, in the North Lakes area. Officials said a call came in to the Emergency Communications Center at 7 p.m. Friday.

The investigation was still active Friday night, officials said.

No other details were given.

Stay with 10 News and for updates on this developing story.

About the Authors:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.