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Roanoke Police Department responds to Sunday’s downtown Roanoke shooting

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Police say 1:30 Sunday morning, when downtown Roanoke is frequently busy with many people out and about, two men were shot in the center of downtown on Campbell Avenue. They say one man has serious injuries, and the other has non-life-threatening injuries.

WDBJ sat down with the city’s Deputy Police Chief and RESET Coordinator.

“Roanoke is a safe environment, the community is safe, downtown is safe,” Chester Smith, Deputy Chief of Operations for the Roanoke Police Department, said.

Despite Smith’s words, many felt unsafe Sunday around 1:30 a.m. WDBJ7 obtained surveillance footage from a business on Campbell Avenue, where you can see people scattering, hiding and ducking when hearing gunshots go off. But Smith doesn’t want a shooting like this one, which took place in a parking lot in a busy section of Campbell Avenue, to keep people indoors.

“Please do not be afraid to come out and enjoy what Roanoke has to offer,” he said.

He hopes people will work together to find answers and bring information forward.

“It’s not just us; it’s the community also working together to bring a good end result to these bad incidents,” Smith said.

The RESET (Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma) coordinator works with the Roanoke Police Department to respond to areas hit with violent crimes. He said his team is going to go into downtown and speak with local businesses to see how they’re faring after Sunday’s shooting.

“We want people to come together, we want to be able to come together and let people know that, yeah, we are here to support you. I want them to know that we have resources to provide that support,” RESET Coordinator Lloyd Merchant said.

If you witnessed the shooting and are still feeling shaken up, Merchant said you can reach out to the police department to speak with him and get resources. You can also call him directly at (540) 853-5304.

Still no arrests have been made and the investigation remains ongoing.

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