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Roanoke leaders ask for patience from community after violent, deadly weekend

One man died and two others hospitalized

People scared, activists exhausted and leaders fed up after another weekend of gun violence in Roanoke.

ROANOKE, Va. – The weekend in Roanoke ended the way too many others have before it: with several shootings.

Three separate shootings killed one man and put two people in the hospital.

“Before we can heal completely from one trauma, another trauma has set in,” said activist Bernadette Lark.

Just a few hours before the first shooting of the weekend, Lark was at an event meant to work against gun violence.

“If we truly want to see this violence leave the people who are committing this violence must leave our community,” stated Lark.

“This is not an easy fix,” said Roanoke Vice Mayor Patricia White-Boyd. “I know that the Chief of Police, City Council – we’re doing everything that we possibly can.”

The first of three shootings happened Saturday evening around 7:30 p.m. on Peck Street NW.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified described the scene. “When I came home there was glass in the middle of the road. I thought it was a wreck. The further up the road I got I saw the police in the parking lot and there was glass at the end of the road as well.”

A victim went to a nearby fire station for help, according to police. They were taken to the hospital.

About five hours later, a man was found with a minor gunshot wound on Eden Drive, police say.

Then, at 5 a.m. Sunday, a man was found dead at a home in the area of the 3100 block of Williamson Road.

“This line of separation: Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest - or however we break it down. It is an us problem,” said Lark.

While crime is up across the country, Lark wants more done to curb things here at home.

“If you were going to those cities getting success stories to compare, I could accept that, but don’t bring the very same pain from another place because to me that is deflective,” stated Lark.

Roanoke leadership hosted a public forum for citizens to voice what they think should be done to combat violence.

“We are asking that our residents be patient with us and continue trying to be safe, but we are doing everything possible to try to curtail this gun violence,” said White-Boyd.

“Public safety is a shared responsibility. Just like we need those state and federal partners, we also need you, the community, our members of our community to hold these individuals accountable,” said Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman during the event.

No arrests have been made in the three weekend shootings.


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.