Lynchburg community responds violent month

The city has seen two gun related deaths and several other shootings during February

LYNCHBURG, Va. – It’s been a violent month for Lynchburg.

“We’ve had two senseless murders in a month and you know, that’s devastation.”

Two homicides - and several more arrests over shots fired.

10 News spoke with Mayor Stephanie Reed over the phone about what seems to be an uptick in the violence. She sees why the community may feel unsettled.

“We had a relatively quiet summer, fall and our winter months have been quiet as far as violence, and then all of a sudden we had a really bad February.”

Mayor Reed said she’s concerned over Saturday’s incident, where two men were arrested in connection to a shooting at a house on Pierce Street.

“It mirrors what happened to Kingston Campbell, and by the grace of god no one was injured or killed, but easily could have been,” Reed said.

We sat down with Peacemakers founder Shawn Hunter, who said they had worked with these suspects before they were arrested.

“Well, when we was renovating this building they had come by seeking work, and I let them paint the building,” Hunter said.

Hunter said he hopes to reach back out after everything has been settled in court to help the two men get back on the right path.

“I was them. I have been incarcerated before, so I know. We cannot give up on them,” he said.

The Peacemakers group called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the violent month. During the meeting, the group heard from domestic violence survivors like Taina Roman.

“If you don’t have somewhere to stay, proper housing, safety network, or people you can trust and call’re going to go back to what you know. Sometimes that’s an abusive situation,” Roman said.

City Councilmen Jeff Helgeson and Marty Misjuns joined in on the meeting as well. Both of them praised the work Peacemakers have already done and are striving to do.

“I am thankful for you guys being here because you guys are what’s going to help make our city safer. We can’t just hire more and more police,” Helgeson said.

Mayor Reed is calling on the community to act when it comes to youth gun violence.

“Come in as community members and redirect them, so that they don’t feel like picking up a weapon and shooting it is the only option for their life,” she said.

About the Authors

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

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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