‘This problem calls for everyone coming together’: Roanoke police chief weighs in on recent gun violence

Roman says it will take people from all backgrounds to address the problem

In less than 24 hours, there have been two shootings in the City of Roanoke.

ROANOKE, Va – After two shootings in less than 24 hours, Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman wants the community to know the city is working to address it.

Roman said the increase in gun violence has been a concerning trend nationwide and that it will take people from all backgrounds to address it.

“The environment in which we are in, you know, this problem calls for everyone coming together in order to be able to successfully stop or mitigate some of the violence we were seeing what we’re seeing here in Roanoke is, is consistent with what we are seeing across the United States as well,” explained Roman.

Roman said younger people are an area of concern for the department since most of the shootings have involved someone under 25.

“One of the denominators in this whole violence thing that we’re seeing that cannot be overlooked, which is the ages of both the offenders, perpetrators and the victims. It is very alarming to see some of the ages that’s associated with some of the gun violence we’re seeing,” continued Roman.

Since the department is not typically there when shootings happen, he said it is important for potential witnesses to come forward with information so the department can make an arrest.

“The message I would have for the community is, ‘find a way to get involved.’ Whether that be a proactive posture or reactive posture that is always good when the community can convey to us what happened because in most cases, we’re not there when these incidents occur. We’re relying on people to tell us what happened when we get there, and I can tell you in some of the very recent acts of gun violence that we’ve seen it’s been difficult to try to solicit and retrieve that information to people who know information about the incident, so that’s always a challenge,” said Roman.

Roman added that law enforcement will need the help of community members to address the uptick of gun violence in the area.

“No one entity could do it alone, law enforcement has to have the support of its community, the community has to have the support of its courts, judges, legislators, all of that work together in the ecosystem of solving this problem and unless all of those entities that I mentioned come together and work in the same direction I’m afraid it’s going to be a futile point.”

If you have any information on crimes in Roanoke, you are asked to contact the Roanoke Police Department at 540-853-2828.

About the Authors:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.