Wasena shooting shocks community

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 5:14 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Roanoke community is in shock after a drive-by shooting. Police say no one was hurt Saturday, but those in Wasena say this hits home after the revitalization there over the past few years.

For the last six years, Erin Patterson has lived directly next door to the house involved in the shooting in the 1200 block of Howbert Avenue Southwest.

“Homes are supposed to be the safest place you can be and to have something like that happen in Wasena, in Roanoke, makes it hard to feel you can be safe in your own home,” Patterson said.

For the last six years, Patterson has felt safe. But that changed around 11 Saturday night. Shots were fired into a house’s windows, roof and door, which has since been replaced. Patterson wasn’t home at the time of the shooting but her partner was.

“By the time that my spouse was able to throw on clothes and come out there were already cops on the scene, so it was very quick, very quick and very terrifying,” Patterson explained.

Wasena residents say folks have worked hard to redevelop and revitalize the area, so a shooting here is especially upsetting.

“There was a time when Wasena was a slum, there was a time when this was not a nice place to live, but myself and the other people in this community, we believed in this community and we knew what it could be and we fought for it. We wanted it to be a place where everyone could be proud to live in, and we’re going to keep it that way,” said Amy Grigorieff, who lives directly behind the house involved in the shooting.

“I think our communities are really safe and this is just a sad reality of living in the United States; it can happen anywhere,” Patterson said.

Patterson says the woman who lives in the house and her new baby were not home at the time of the shooting. The community is thankful no one was injured.

Police say no arrests have been made.

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