ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — For the second time in less than a week, shots were fired in broad daylight in northwest Roanoke. However, unlike Wednesday’s shooting — which left one man dead — Monday’s incident at the Lansdowne Park apartment complex sent two men to the hospital.
According to the Roanoke Police Department, officers on patrol near the apartment complex heard gunfire around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 9, leading to the discovery of two injured men outside of a home in the 2400 block of Delta Drive NW. Both men were taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening gunshot wounds.
On Monday afternoon, police announced the arrest of 22-year-old Mann D. Murray of Roanoke, in connection with the shooting, charging him with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
“I mean it’s just horrible, it really is,” said Thelma Spradlin, who brings her grandson to the playground around the corner from the scene of Monday’s shooting.
Spradlin says she believes the city and the Gun Violence Prevention Commission are working hard, but she’s not sure what else can be done.
“I think they’re trying everything they can, but there’s just so much they can do,” she said.
According to Roanoke City Councilman Joe Cobb — who serves as the chair of the the Gun Violence Prevention Commission — community members are “clearly” more at risk if these shootings are happening in the middle of the day, which is when more people are out of their homes.
“It used to be that you could say, ‘well between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., that’s when the bulk of the shootings are gonna take place because it’s dark, it’s kind of easier to hide,’ but that’s not the case anymore,” said Cobb.
Cobb says the commission is investing grant money in the northwest area, as well as working with the EnVision Center and the Melrose Branch Library.
In addition, the commission is reportedly investing in The Peacemakers, Inc., which patrols neighborhoods after traumatic incidents.
Shawn Hunter, president of The Peacemakers, Inc., says he heard the shots being fired along Delta Drive NW Monday morning and ran to the scene. Residents reportedly told Hunter they want more law enforcement presence.
“They said the police ride through here, but they feel that it needs to be foot patrol,” Hunter told WFXR News, adding that he wants to work with the city to permanently station Peacemakers around the complex so they can patrol day and night.
There are also cameras throughout the Lansdowne Park apartment complex, which is a public housing community offered by the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA).
In fact, police say their intelligence team’s use of the area’s video surveillance helped officers quickly track down Murray after Monday morning’s shooting.
David Bustamante, executive director of the RRHA, says those cameras have been around for about six months, leading to a 30% reduction in calls, but he still has concerns about the summertime.
“In the summer, when all these kids are home, I have a belief that it’s gonna get a lot worse than what it is today,” said Bustamante.
This news comes after police found three gunshot victims possibly connected to the same early morning shooting from Sunday, May 1, followed by a homicide on Wednesday, May 4, all in northwest Roanoke.