ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Within the first four days of May, three people were injured and one person died following reports of shootings in northwest Roanoke.

This spike in violence in the Star City is particularly concerning for Mayor Sherman Lea and the city’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission.

“When you look at the names of our organizations getting grants, they’re predominantly programs that are working in northwest, so we’re putting our full effort behind that,” said Lea.

The mayor says the commission is making significant progress when it comes to long-term changes, but he says it’s time for immediate solutions, especially in northwest Roanoke.

The latest report from the Roanoke Police Department shows there were about 20 assaults and homicides involving guns between Jan. 1 and April 12, at least half of which took place in the northwestern part of the city.

“We wanna see what can be done now in the short-term to deal with those kind of issues,” said Lea.

Lea tells WFXR News he wants to bring people from the criminal justice system into the conversation, so he’s reaching out to cities like Boston for advice on how they handled gun violence.

In addition, Lea believes poverty is the big issue in Roanoke.

“We want to try to reduce poverty also, to try to give people a chance to work, to do some things, and give them hope,” he said.

The next Gun Violence Prevention Commission is set for Tuesday, May 10, during which time the Roanoke Police Department is set to release an updated report.