“We’re not going to stop.” Prayer vigil held after fatal shooting during Roanoke’s Ceasefire Campaign

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 11:32 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Roanoke non-profit hosted a candlelight vigil after a shooting in Northwest Roanoke marked the first homicide since the beginning of the Ceasefire: Victory in the Valley initiative.

According to a WDBJ7 tally, there have been at least 19 fatal shootings this year.

Members of the community gathered Monday afternoon to remember each one of those victims, including the man killed Sunday morning.

The non-profit Families Expecting Deliverance Using Prayer known as FED UP, hosted a vigil where they prayed for every person killed and their families.

“We’ve got 100,000 people in the Roanoke Valley,” said FED UP Chaplain J. L. Jackson. “So I believe if all of us come together we’ll be able to see in this valley, what we expecting to see. And that is a reduction in the violence.”

Sunday morning’s homicide marks the first fatal shooting since officials launched a ceasefire campaign. The ceasefire only lasted nine days but Roanoke’s clergy says the work must continue.

“We’re not going to stop, we’re not going to ask people to, you know, put away to cease fire; no the cease fire is still in effect,” said Hill Street Baptist Church Pastor Preston Tyler. “And we still want you to put the guns down and put the prayers up in there.”

Officials say you can be involved by volunteering with law enforcement or organizations like FED UP and the RESET team.

“We need all the community to be involved in whatever way they can. If everyone just chooses one thing to do to reduce harm to reduce violence in the community, it will make a profound difference,” said Vice Mayor Joe Cobb.