80ºF

’I’m frustrated, angry and saddened’: Roanoke mayor has strong words after weekend of gun violence

Violence comes about a week after multiple News Year’s Day shootings

ROANOKE, Va. – “Just sad, that’s all,” said Qae Copeland, whose mother lives near the scene of Saturday’s deadly shooting.

Copeland said gun violence needs to stop.

“I understand guns to protect yourself, but fight. That’s how I see it. You can fight instead of shooting somebody," said Copeland.

Early Saturday morning, 25-year-old Nasion Brewer was shot and killed on Gandy Street Northwest, which is within eyesight of Copeland’s mother’s house.

Police believe a confrontation between Brewer and another man led to the shooting.

“I was gone. I just came back to visit (my mother)," Copeland said. "Seeing the cops and everything, I was just trying to make sure she was okay.”

The violent weekend comes just over a week after multiple shootings on New Year’s Day, one of which, police say, was the result of an argument.

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea took a shot Monday at the community and legal system.

“Nothing’s going to stop this until citizens take more personal responsibility. This is continuing to happen. I’m frustrated, angry, and saddened," said Lea. "We’ve got some of the best judges in the country, but I’m asking our judiciary and our commonwealth attorney, to please send out a strong message that this will not be tolerated...If (someone comes) back in court with a felony they’ve been convicted of before, they should get the maximum (sentence) the law provides.”

He said the city’s gun violence task force is doing all that it can.

“They’re going to implement some things that will help in terms of mediation and other ideas that they have," Lea said.

As of Monday afternoon, no arrests had been made in any of the weekend shootings.

When 10 News asked the mayor for a timeline for the task force implementations he referenced, he said they are ongoing.


About the Author: