RESET Team connects NW Roanoke community with resources in wake of shooting

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 7:08 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - “I’m here to provide you with some community assistance,” said Jermaine Johnson as he spoke to a Northwest Roanoke homeowner Wednesday.

Johnson is a RESET (Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma) Team volunteer with the City of Roanoke.

He and his fellow volunteers went door-to-door along Williamson Rd. Wednesday talking to neighbors and business owners after a nearby shooting injured two men early Sunday morning.

“We try to get out there and just let them know that we’re here and that we see what’s going on, and we just want to be that support for them,” said RESET Coordinator Lloyd Merchant.

For Johnson, this outreach is personal.

“I used to be them,” he said. “I grew up in an environment that was negative, I know what some of the families are going through, I have family members that have lost their lives through violence.”

That’s why Johnson and his teammates are letting people know about community or health resources available to them, if they need help overcoming the recent trauma in their neighborhood.

RESET volunteers say their presence is often well-received by neighbors.

“They feel like they have the right to be in a community that’s free of violence and they want it to stop,” said Merchant. “It’s affecting the entire community within that area: the children, the residents, everybody. It’s devastating. It’s devastating.”

As for the two men injured in Sunday’s shooting, police say one was seriously injured.

Officers are still actively investigating the incident, but at this time, no arrests have been made.

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