Police chief: Creating partnerships key to combatting Roanoke gun violence after 3 weekend shootings

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke Police Department continues to investigate three shootings from this past weekend that left one person dead and injured two others over the course of 12 hours.

With those three shootings, that brings the city’s total number to over 60 since January.

Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman sat down with WFXR News on Monday, Nov. 15, saying that more than 331 arrests have been made trying to curb the gun violence in the Star City.

Now, police are hoping to increase that number by finding those responsible for the three weekend shootings.

The first shooting occurred in the 1000 block of Peck Street NW shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, leaving one man seriously injured, according to authorities.

A report of shots fired also came in around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14 from the 4800 block of Eden Drive NW before responding officers discovered a man with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

The last of the three shootings was reported at approximately 5 a.m. on Sunday from the 3100 block of Williamson Road NE, near the intersection with Lyndhurst Road. When police arrived, they found a critically-injured man outside a home in the area, but he ended up being pronounced dead at the scene.

Roman says the city is creating a holistic approach to solving gun violence, which includes creating partnerships with federal agencies and with the city’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission.

“Holistic approach definitely encompasses the mindset that we don’t just lay the problem of gun violence at the feet of police. We really don’t understand the layers upon layers that has really culminated and created this problem.”

Sam Roman, Roanoke City Police Chief

Roman believes the city’s new youth and gang violence prevention coordinator will play a role in reducing a problem that, he says, didn’t just happen overnight.

“His presence out in the community can help make sure that people get to the resources that they need and a good mentorship role where maybe a young child won’t choose a path of gang activity or gun violence,” Roman said.

He also says it’s going to take all community members doing their part to rid the city of gun violence.

“Stay engaged,” urged Roman. “Because this is definitely not a sprint, it’s a marathon. But if we’re all marathoning toward the common goal, which is [to] reduce, mitigate and interrupt gun violence, I think we’ll be successful as a city.”

As of Sunday, police say no arrests have been made in connection with the ongoing investigations into the three shootings from over the weekend.

If you have any information about any of the shootings, you are asked to contact the Roanoke Police Department by calling 540-344-8500 or sending a text starting with “RoanokePD” to 274637. You can remain anonymous.

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