‘This is about life or death. People are dying’: Roanoke leaders react to downtown shooting

A man is now behind bars for a deadly shooting in Roanoke over the weekend.

Police arrested 26-year-old Brandon Woods for second-degree murder in connection to the incident.

It’s the latest shooting to happen in Roanoke, this time, in Downtown.

10 News spoke with the Mayor and a Roanoke native, both working to prevent gun violence in the Star City. They both say more needs to be done.

One man was killed and two others were hurt after the shooting on Campbell Avenue SE in Downtown Roanoke early Sunday morning.

“Gun violence is becoming the new normal in Roanoke,” said William Dungee, who works with the city’s R.E.S.E.T. team.

Dungee is going out into the community to make a difference. He grew up in Northwest Roanoke and said he’s tired of hearing the same headline.

[26-year-old Roanoke man charged after deadly downtown shooting]

While he says there are a lot of players working to address the problem, they aren’t working together.

“We have all these entities, but we don’t work together. So if we’re not working together, how can we find a solution for the problem?” Dungee questioned.

Mayor Sherman Lea said he’s frustrated that the City’s efforts to curb gun violence aren’t working as well as he’d hoped.

“This is about life or death. People are dying,” Lea said. “The frustrating thing is we got police in the vicinity. Ten police officers, I understand, was in the downtown area within Campbell and Church and those areas, and yet we still have the shootings.”

Lea said he’ll talk with City Council and the Downtown business community to consider all options.

“If we have to shut down some businesses, we need to do that. If we have to end alcohol sales at a certain time, we need to consider that,” Lea said.

And he said he never wants the community to feel immune to the violence.

“Roanoke is a better city than this,” Lea said. “We got to keep working it. We just can’t stop and throw up our hands.”

Dungee said he wants to do more to help, but he said red tape is getting in the way.

“The more red tape, the more yellow tape you gonna see,” Dungee said.

Police say Woods was arrested with help from the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force early Monday afternoon.

The investigation is ongoing.

About the Authors

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!

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