Shooting at Roanoke supermarket reveals “substantial evidence” showing self-defense

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:08 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - WDBJ7 has learned new details about a shooting over the weekend at a Food Lion in Northwest Roanoke. Roanoke City’s commonwealth’s attorney told WDBJ7 the suspect was released because there is a substantial argument for self defense.

Saturday night, there was a disagreement at the store on Peters Creek Road. Investigators say one man threw a punch at another man, who then took out his gun and shot several times.

He hit the person who initiated the fight and a woman who was caught in the middle. The woman’s injuries were not life-threatening, but Roanoke Police said the man’s injuries were serious.

The commonwealth’s attorney explained the store’s surveillance video will help investigators determine if this was self defense.

”That’s where it becomes a fine line; does a person have to stand there and take a beating or get beat up, or if they are armed, can they use deadly force to repel the attack?” Donald Caldwell said. “That will be a decision that we’ll have to get the actual video from the Food Lion and watch and make those determinations.”

The man who fired the gun stayed on scene and cooperated with police. Caldwell explained cooperation is rare in situations like this.

“The predicate act for using a gun has just become so low is there’s almost no bar,” Caldwell said. “Hurt feelings now, among some members of our society, justify using a gun. It is just a sad state of affairs.”

The commonwealth’s attorney also stated the man who started the fight could face charges for assault and battery.