‘Peacemakers’ make a return to Roanoke to curb violence with new campaign featuring Mike Tyson’s son

The group’s founder hopes a video message from Amir Tyson would help target youth

Roanoke is getting creative with its approach to curbing gun violence — featuring Mike Tyson's son.

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke leaders are asking for ideas to curb gun violence as the city adds more shootings to its already long list.

“We have to come up with something tangible,” said Roanoke Vice Mayor Patricia White.

She is willing to try “any and everything,” — within good measure, of course.

“We don’t have the answers, okay? If we had the answers we would have curbed the gun violence already, but we do have ideas and we’re trying everything,” admitted White-Boyd.

Among many initiatives, the city has formed the Gun Violence Task Force while the police department has created the RESET team. The city will host their first gun buyback program in an effort to get guns off the street: Groceries Not Guns.

Many community organizations are joining this effort as well. The Peacemakers are making a comeback specifically to lend a helping hand.

“In order to save the hood, the hood has to work together,” said Peacemakers founder Shawn Hunter.

A video message from Amir Tyson, boxer Mike Tyson’s oldest son, was made at the request of Shawn Hunter. The goal is to target the youth.

“I was telling him that the crime had risen here in Roanoke and he expressed a concern to me that he would like to speak with the youth,” said Hunter.

Hunter plans to fully reactivate Peacemakers in November. He also plans to have Amir visit Roanoke and maybe with his dad present as well.

“Only two things can happen: you either going to jail or we’re going to a funeral,” stated Hunter. “Those are the results of somebody handling a gun illegally.”

You can contact Vice Mayor White-Boyd by email by clicking here.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.