Mayor Lea pleas with parents after teen shooting death

One teen was left dead with another in the hospital after a shooting Saturday

ROANOKE, VA – One teen is dead and another is hospitalized after an overnight shooting Saturday.

10 News sat down with Mayor Lea Saturday, where he said it’s time for parents to step up.

“Mom, where are you? Dad, where are you? Nobody is going to do this for you. You need to know where your children are, where your teenagers are,” Lea said.

An urgent plea from Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea Saturday, as Roanoke saw yet another gun-related death.

“Roanoke seems to be under siege,” Lea said.

President of gun advocacy group, FEDUP, Rita Joyce said gun violence has no discrimination.

“Bullets don’t have no names on them,” Joyce said.

The latest homicide left one teen dead and another in the hospital.

This happened just after midnight Saturday along Patton Avenue Northwest.

“Our children could be safe, but I can’t keep them in the house. I can’t watch over them, the gun violence commission can’t watch over them,” Lea said.

Lea is begging parents to step up and stop their children before it’s too late.

“Do you want a law-abiding community? Or do you want a wild, wild west?” he said.

The mayor said it’s up to the community as much as it’s up to officials.

“Community, what are you doing? I don’t know how people go out with smiles on their faces. I’m bothered by it. I can’t smile a lot when kids are getting shot and killed,” he said.

Joyce backs up Lea when it comes to parents stepping in.

“Everybody get involved. Get involved and say ‘What can we do? What must we do?’ We’ve got to figure out how we can stop this. Talk to your children Parent to parent, let’s figure this out. We’ve got to say we don’t want this. Because it could be you tomorrow losing a child,” Joyce said.

Lea is doubling down on this: parents need to know where their kids are.

“You know when they’re not in the house. You know when they go out and come in late. You know if they’re involved in activities that are not wholesome, and dangerous. Take up your responsibility,” Lea said.

Mayor Lea said he plans to speak to police about how youth curfew is being enforced, and how it can be used to curb violence like we saw Saturday.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

Recommended Videos