ROANOKE, Va. – Tuesday morning was just like any other for Ramona StClair. But just the night before, her quiet Roanoke street was lined with police cars and crime scene tape.
“It was shocking a little bit,” said StClair.
Monday night, StClair learned that a woman and two boys were shot on Salem Avenue SW, right across the street from her home. The three victims were all taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“You see them all the time. It’s not just us. It’s not just Roanoke. It’s everywhere now,” said StClair.
Tuesday, 10 News learned that the boys are 7-year-old twins and the shooting stemmed from an argument over a bicycle, according to Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Don Caldwell.
Caldwell also told 10 News that Roanoke City Police have a suspect, but they have not identified that person, filed charges, or made any arrests.
10 News reached out to Roanoke City Police for an update on the investigation. A spokesperson provided this statement:
Bishop JL Jackson is the lead pastor at Refreshing Church in Roanoke and part of the grassroots group FEDUP which supports families who have been impacted by gun violence. He was also a member of the city’s original gun violence task force.
Since yesterday’s shooting, Jackson said he’s been in contact with neighbors in the Hurt Park neighborhood where it happened. He says they’re afraid of more violence and potential retaliation.
Jackson said he thinks the city’s Gun Violence Commission is doing good work: they’re doing research on the problem and laying a foundation. However, he said it’s not enough to save a life today or tomorrow.
″A lot of the research that we do will not offer immediate results. It may be 5 years, it may be 10 years. Unfortunately, we don’t have that much time,” said Jackson.
With summer fast approaching, StClair said kids need a positive way to spend their time, but she says not all families can afford summer camp.
She’d like the city’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission to devote funding to low and middle-income families. In 2022 alone, the commission received just over $1.5 million in grants.
“Maybe it’s time to look into pouring money into, more into the youth that need it,” said StClair. “Ask them what they want to do. Ask them what they like to do: arts, music, dance.”
StClair admitted she doesn’t know what the solution is, but said every little bit helps.
“There’s no cure-all. There’s no fix-all,” said StClair. “But if you can start one at a time: you know, one person at a time, one group at a time, one entity at a time, I think something can work. But it’s better than doing nothing”
Stay with 10 News on-air and online for the latest on this developing story.