“I’m frustrated.” Mayor speaks on latest shootings in Roanoke

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - No arrests have been made after two people were shot in the Taco Bell parking lot on Hershberger Road Tuesday night. Just hours after a Gun Violence Prevention Commission meeting, police received calls of a person with a gunshot wound. Officers found damage that showed there had been a shooting, but there were no victims to be found.

While investigating, police were notified of two people at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds. A man and a teenager were treated, and are expected to survive.

City leaders say they are committed to the ceasefire campaign that started nearly two weeks ago.

“We got to make sure we get guns off the street. Everybody has guns, people use violent guns. Not all juveniles, are not juveniles. These are adults.” says Mayor Sherman Lea.

According to a recent statistics report from the Roanoke Police Department, 53 Aggravated Assaults or Homicides occurred in the Roanoke Valley this year. Out of all Roanoke locations, 37 of those incidents took place in the Northwest.

Mayor Lea wants the public to keep faith as changes will happen soon.

“Keep on the path that we started, and I think for the most part we will put a lot of focus on our police,” says Mayor Lea.

The number of homicides in Roanoke is now 26 for 2023. That’s an 8% increase from last year.

Mayor Lea says once Chief Scott Booth joins in late October, moving from Danville, leaders will sit down and assess the issues at hand.

“Let’s see what ideas and thoughts he will bring to the table. And I’m hoping and praying that the ceasefire, people will feel that and do what they need to do to maintain. And just to expect some good things to come.” added Mayor Lea.

Police refused to comment, saying the investigation is ongoing.

RPD asks anyone with information about this incident to call (540) 344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text at 274637; begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Calls and texts can remain anonymous.