62ºF

Officers take part in HEART walk after deadly Danville shooting

Person arrested on unrelated charges

DANVILLE, Va. – The Danville Police Department remained tight-lipped Thursday afternoon about the arrest of a person of interest in Wednesday’s homicide.

Melvin Smith, 40, was shot to death in the front yard of a home in the 300 block of Summit Drive according to police.

A news release from the police department Thursday said the person of interest was arrested on unrelated charges Wednesday and had not been charged with the murder as of Thursday afternoon.

Because they had not been charged, the police department did not identify them.

Danville police officers and a Danville Pittsylvania Community Services representative talk to a resident on Idlewood Terrace during Thursday's HEART walk.
Danville police officers and a Danville Pittsylvania Community Services representative talk to a resident on Idlewood Terrace during Thursday's HEART walk. (WSLS)

The police department would also not say where they were arrested or what their unrelated charges are.

On Thursday afternoon, a couple dozen police officers and members of Danville Pittsylvania Community Services participated in a HEART walk in the neighborhood where Smith was killed.

HEART is an acronym. It stands for Heal and Engage After Recent Trauma.

This is a program the police department started in 2019.

Officers go to neighborhoods where homicides happen the day after the homicide and talk to people.

The goal is to try to help residents heal so there’s no retaliation or future violence.

Danville Police Department Lt. Richard Chivvis said he is confident this walk will be effective.

“Feedback has been great from the previous walks. It’s important for us to have this face-to-face conversation with the immediate community that was affected. A homicide affects the entire city of Danville, it affects the perception of Danville from those outside the city and within," Chivvis said.

The homicide remained under investigation Thursday and the police department did not rule out the possibility of more arrests.