DOJ: Man arrested on federal gun charges in connection with 2019 murder of teenager in Roanoke

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — After being charged and then acquitted in state court in connection with the 2019 fatal shooting of a teenager in Roanoke, officials announced Wednesday that a man has been arrested for federal firearms charges related to the same incident.

According to the Roanoke Police Department, officers were called to the 2100 block of Denniston Avenue SW on May 31, 2019 for a report of a person who had been shot. When authorities arrived, they found 16-year-old Tyler Polumbo, a Patrick Henry High School student, dead at the scene.

On June 11, 2019, police announced they arrested then-20-year-old Demarcus Shaiquan Glenn in northwest Roanoke.

More than two years later, on Oct. 20, a jury found Glenn not guilty of the following charges, according to court records:

  • One count of first-degree murder
  • One count of attempted armed robbery
  • Two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony

According to a statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday, Nov. 24, Glenn testified at his trial that he arrived at the location for a drug transaction, but then Polumbo reportedly pulled a gun on him. Glenn said he pulled his own gun from his pocket and fatally shot the victim.

“It is a federal crime to use, carry, brandish, or discharge a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug transaction. My office is committed to playing a role with its federal, state, and local partners in addressing the gun violence in Roanoke,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh. “If you shoot and kill another person in the Western District of Virginia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is going to follow the facts and the law and seek federal charges when appropriate.” 

“The FBI is committed to working with the United States Attorney’s Office to address drug activity and violent crime in the Roanoke area,” Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, stated. “We will continue to work with our partners to vigorously investigate and hold accountable those who pose risks to our communities and encourage residents to immediately report incidents to local law enforcement or the FBI through tips.FBI.gov.”

The DOJ says Glenn was arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 23 and charged with using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and brandishing and discharging said firearm.

If convicted, Glenn faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life imprisonment, according to the department. The length of his sentence will be determined by a federal district court judge based on U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case is reportedly being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the DOJ’s violent crime reduction efforts.

“PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them,” the DOJ said in Wednesday’s statement. “As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders, and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.”

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