‘We want to be safe where we live’: Melrose residents speak out about witnessing officer-involved shooting

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke community is still trying to process what happened right in front of them on Sunday.

Residents said what they saw is something they can’t deny.

“People need to realize that there is going to be mental issues from seeing that,” community member Janine Vanderberg said. “It’s not every day you watch a body lay on the sidewalk for four hours before they put the sheet over it and then they didn’t take him until 10:30 that night they did everything in front of us.”

“It shakes everybody up you know; this is where we live, we want to be safe where we live,” another Melrose resident, Darla Campbell said.

Now, counseling is being offered to residents to help them work through it.

[Virginia State Police identify Roanoke homicide suspect shot, killed by officer]

Several residents said they saw or heard the shooting.

“It was a difficult situation for our residents to witness and see and just trying to be supportive as far as being there for them and providing our services that we provide and then continuing to support them throughout this coming time,” Greg Goodman, Director of Community Support Services for Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority said.

“I heard the gunshots, I didn’t see much of nothing, but they left the body of the curb for hours and hours before they ever covered it up and that was a nasty sick scene,” Campbell said.

Residents told 10 News that they’d typically be sitting and hanging out where the suspect’s dead body was. They said they are thankful it was cold outside or else a lot of innocent people could have been hurt.

About the Author:

Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.