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Program talks success, staying safe after fatal shooting

(WDBJ)
Published: May. 28, 2016 at 5:13 PM EDT
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After a tragic shooting of an eleven-year-old boy in Roanoke, some in the community are trying to make sure this never happens again.

The Role Modelz program has been open for about a year in the Northwest section of Roanoke. Saturday, they were talking about their success, but also invited local police to talk about gun safety. They did that to try and teach parents and their kids the best ways to stay safe.

That invite came after the fatal shooting last Thursday, when police say a ten and eleven year old boy were playing with a loaded gun. It happened on Carroll Avenue, about a mile away from today's event at Melrose Park.

We caught up with Grover Price, the person behind Role Modelz, which is housed out of "The Hope Center" on 11th Street. It's a youth mentoring program designed to teach responsibility and accountability. They're open during the school year and help with tutoring.

Price says he knew the child who died last week and had coached him in the past few years. He says the eleven year old wasn't a part of the Role Modelz program, but he wishes the boy was.

Grover Price said, “It just seemed to me like it was a time where school was out and it was a dead time between their parents working or whatever was going on, but that's why we have the Hope Center open. For those kids that come home from school so we can have some guidance and structure for them.”

Sherman Lea, Roanoke Mayor-Elect, said, “And with all of the negative things that have occured in our community, we build on this to say that there is hope.”

Mayor-elect Sherman Lea opened the Hope Festival that afternoon with a prayer for the boy's family and community.

They hope today's event could play a role in saving lives in the future. As for the Hope Center, it will stay open during the summer.