Mental health expert breaks down trauma of Salem Fair shooting witnesses

Roanoke Valley News

(Credit: Getty Images)

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — Mental health experts in the Roanoke Valley reflected on the trauma Wednesday night’s Salem Fair shooting may have caused witnesses.

As the Salem Fair enters night three on Friday, July 2, security has stepped its game up, but for many, that is not enough.

Scott Weddle witnessed the shooting on Wednesday, June 30.

“Going to the Salem Fair I’ve never witnessed it. I’ve never experienced it. I’ve been away from it the days when stuff like this happened. I don’t know how it happened that way, but I was never there when these situations happened,” said Weddle.

Now Weddle’s fears are his reality, and it’s affecting those he loves.

“The way it has traumatized my kids and the gentleman that lives with us, I don’t know that I can go back,” Weddle said.

Dr. Deneen Evans — the owner of Mosaic Mental Wellness and Health, as well as a clinician — says people cannot ignore what happened.

“Cannot live in a bubble, so how do we let our children know that they’re safe? We have you. This is what we did when this happened. The police were there. They apprehended that person. That person isn’t going to be there to harm you,” said Dr. Evans.

Dr. Evans acknowledges the trauma this incident has caused and says the shooting rattled many because they considered the fair a safe place, and had their families in attendance.

“Every day we’re hearing different types of violence and so on. First of all, I think this is a community issue. The community really has to get behind this and figure out what is triggering this especially in our young people,” explained Dr. Evans.

She adds seeking outside help may be necessary.

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