EXCLUSIVE: Remembering Crystal Brown, Melrose Ave. Shooting Victim

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 7:42 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Roanoke community came together on Sunday for a vigil to remember a woman who was shot and killed on Melrose Avenue on September 17th. Her family has identified her as Crystal Brown.

Crystal Brown was a mother, partner, friend, and so much more for many in Northwest Roanoke.

“She was a loving person,” said Anthony Peterson. “One part was you know her struggles and the other was who she was as a person.”

Peterson and Brown had three children together. Peterson and close family members organized a vigil for Brown on Sunday, September 24th. Brown’s friends and family gathered at Melrose Park and walked together to the house where she was shot.

Peterson says Brown struggled with substance abuse disorder but he doesn’t want that to define her.

“The point of the vigil is really to highlight Crystal as a person and validate the struggles that she had and the resolution to those struggles rather than demonizing her or demonizing individual people in the community,” explained Peterson.

On September 17th, Police responded to a shots-fire call in the 1200 block of Melrose Avenue. police found Brown and another man murdered at a home. Another man was hospitalized from the same shooting.

“I still want to know what made him take two lives and destroy an entire community,” added Peterson.

Organizers hope to spread awareness of finding the suspect.

Police are still looking for 25-year-old Edward Denoyer. Denoyer is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

Police say if you see Denoyer, do not approach him because he is considered armed and dangerous. Instead, call 9-1-1 and share what you know.

“You took two people’s lives and I am sure that at some point in time, you’re regretting your actions,” said Peterson. “We’re not hating you... maybe you should turn yourself in.”

In his grief, Peterson says he would like to see increased support for people who struggle with substance abuse disorder. He says Brown had an appointment to seek treatment last week but she was killed before she could make it.