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Roanoke’s Chief of Police addresses gun violence in the city

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 6:47 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke’s top cop is addressing an increase of gun violence in the Star City, including two shootings Wednesday night. Thursday afternoon, the Roanoke Police Department released this body cam footage, which shows an incident from over the weekend where 40-50 shots were fired and at least 50 shell casings were found.

WATCH: Roanoke Police release body cam footage from weekend crowd shooting

“Obviously the shells, the spent casings that we found, that speaks for itself. Those are high powered weapons being used,” said Chief Sam Roman.

The incident took place behind 202 Social House on Market Street. Over 100 people were gathered, but dispersed quickly after a fight broke out.

You can hear from the footage dozens of rounds being fired. We learned later several cars were hit as well at at least one business.

“Solving Gun violence is a partnership. It’s a partnership with community, with businesses, and it’s making sure that everyone comes to the table with solutions, and then go about the business of merging those solutions, and coming out of a meeting or an endeavor with just one vision and one goal,” said Roman.

It's that sort of centralized mentality Chief Sam Roman, who took over the role just over three months ago, wants to instill in Roanoke

In the last week there have been six shootings.

“There are so many various factors that go into why crime increases, and in some cases why crime decreases, so it is very, very hard to point to one or two or maybe even three things that point to why we’ve seen some of the things we’ve seen,” said Roman.

Releasing video is one of the ways chief hopes to get answers; having more participation in the ongoing gun task force is another way.

But the ultimate goal is unity, which has proven to be challenging over the last few months.

“Often times we come into scenarios and situations where we look for our corner to go to, wave our particular flag, but I would say this is a unique time for our community to come together,” said Roman.

Roman alluded to a gang problem being one of the causes of the violence. WDBJ7 will have a later report addressing more of what chief had to say and what he hopes to see in the city.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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