Crime and Public Safety
Roanoke Police say one man was shot overnight, and his wounds appear serious. By our count, that makes at least 14 shooting incidents this month in the city. Police say responding officers found the man lying in the roadway at the Landsdowne Park apartments off Salem Turnpike. So far, there are no arrests..
NEWS RELEASE: On July 30, 2020 at around 12:30am, Roanoke Police responded to reports of a person with a gunshot wound in the 2400 block of Delta Drive NW. Responding officers located an adult male in the roadway with a gunshot wound. The man was transported by Roanoke Fire-EMS to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of what appeared to be serious injuries. Details about what lead up to the shooting are limited. No arrests have been made at this time. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.
NEWS RELEASE: This morning, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 4:58 a.m. the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency call from a resident in the 4000 block of Mountain Pass Road in Botetourt County. The resident advised that a subject had overdosed with an unknown substance and was unresponsive.
A subject at the scene administered NARCAN to the unresponsive subject. The subject became responsive and was able to gain control of a vehicle and flee the residence.
Botetourt County Deputies responding to the scene located the vehicle driving erratically traveling north on Mountain Pass Road, heading toward Route 11. Deputies activated their emergency equipment and attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle refused to stop and headed north on Route 11 at a high rate of speed.
The pursuit continued onto Route 43 and into Bedford County where deputies attempted to use Stop Sticks to disable the suspect vehicle which was unsuccessful. The vehicle was finally stopped on Route 460 in Botetourt County after a second deployment of Stop Sticks. As deputies approached the vehicle the driver was visible, but would not respond to commands. Deputies gained access to the driver, who was unresponsive, and called EMS. The driver was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Cody Joseph Brads, 23, of Salem, Va. was charged with Felony Elude of Police, Driving under the influence of Drugs, and Obstruction of Justice. Brads is currently being held without bond at the Botetourt-Craig Regional Jail.
Democrats in Richmond are laying the groundwork for changes in Virginia criminal justice laws when they meet next month in special session. Two House of Delegates committees conducted an on-line hearing today focusing on sentencing and parole, subjects that included current minimum sentences in Virginia for hundreds of felonies and a lack of discretionary parole. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story:
VDOT officials say traffic is still backed up at least two miles from the scene of a multi vehicle crash involving a tractor trailer today at mile marker 158 along I-81 South in Botetourt County. All traffic will be detoured off at Exit 162, onto U.S. Route 11 South, onto Route 460 West and Brughs Mill Road, and back onto I-81 South at mile marker 156. The Troutville Fire Department tells WFXR at least one person was trapped in the crash and has been taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Emergency crews have been dealing with a hazmat situation because the tractor trailer was reportedly leaking diesel fuel.
PREVIOUS : Police are at the scene of a shooting in the parking lot of 7-Eleven at Plantation Road. It occurred around 9:00 PM. The suspect or suspects fled before police arrived. The investigation is underway. 2 injuries – 1 minor/not transported and 1 with potential life threatening injuries/transported to hospital.
Roanoke Police say three people were wounded in two separate shooting incidents Friday night and early Saturday morning. By our count, that makes at least one dozen shooting incidents so far in July. Police say the latest incidents do not appear to be related, and none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.
NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke Police are investigating two incidents involving gunfire that happened overnight. At this time, there is no indication that these incidents are connected.
On July 24, 2020 at around 10:00pm, Roanoke Police were notified that two individuals who had been shot were on their way to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital via personal vehicle. Officers responded to the hospital to speak with the individuals regarding this investigation. The victims – an adult male and an adult female – did not appear to have life-threatening injuries.
Preliminary investigation indicates this incident may have occurred in the 1800 block of Gandy Drive NW. No arrests have been made at this time. This is an ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.
On July 25, 2020 at around 1:30am, Roanoke Police responded to the 4600 block of Daleville Street NW regarding a person with a gunshot wound. Responding officers located a juvenile male with a gunshot wound that did not appear to be life-threatening. The juvenile was transported by Roanoke Fire-EMS to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment. Officers detained a suspect on scene, and determined that the victim and several others were engaged in a verbal altercation that became physical, then escalated into the shooting. The suspect was identified as Jaytwon Shephard, 18 of Roanoke, and he was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and shooting within city limits.
This remains an ongoing investigation.
NEWS RELEASE: On July 23, 2020 at around 1:15am, Roanoke Police were notified that a juvenile male had arrived at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds. Officers responded to speak with the juvenile regarding this investigation. His injuries appeared to be critical. Officers have not yet been able to determine where this incident occurred, but the investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made at this time. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.
NEWS RELEASE: On July 23, 2020 at around 12:45pm, Roanoke Police were notified of a person with a gunshot wound in the 1800 block of Patterson Avenue SW. Responding officers located an adult female with a gunshot wound. The victim was transported by Roanoke Fire-EMS to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries. As officers arrived, they set up a perimeter around the scene of the incident. While there, they noticed a subject attempting to flee the scene. They engaged in a brief foot pursuit, and that person was detained by officers. No arrests have been made at this time.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540) 344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.
Virginia Democrats in the General Assembly are making it clear – they plan to enact major legislation next month involving police conduct and criminal justice laws. Ahead of that, the process is already underway, as two House of Delegates committees combined yesterday for an on-line hearing. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Democrats say they are looking to make transformational change to the state’s criminal justice system — just a few months after taking a far less ambitious approach.
The killing of George Floyd and widespread protests over police violence have prompted lawmakers and their allies to promise sweeping changes to a criminal justice system many advocates have long said doles out disparate treatment to minorities.
“I think we’re all tired of the incremental change that has failed us and failed our community members for so long,” Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales said on a conference call recently organized by Senate Democrats. “We want to do as much as possible as quickly as possible.”
It’s a far cry from earlier this year, when criminal justice reform supporters were disappointed when many of their proposals were put off for a year or sent to a commission for study.
Democrats controlled the Virginia’s state legislature for the first time in a generation and passed landmark legislation hailed by many of their allies, including environmentalists, women’s rights groups, and gun-control supporters.
But after Floyd’s killing sparked nationwide protests — including in Virginia where several Confederate monuments have been taken down — lawmakers pledged to make criminal justice a key part of a special session scheduled in August. The session was initially set just to focus on state budget shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lawmakers recently began to hold hearings on criminal justice proposals that have been suggested by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, the Democratic Senate Caucus and a group of liberal-leaning county prosecutors.
Those proposals include banning choke holds, giving prosecutors unrestricted access to all reports and disciplinary records of police officers and downgrading the charge of assault on a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor in cases where the officer is not injured. Those who want to change the law say the assault charge can be misused and overused by police, sometimes when they fear they will be accused of using excessive force. The current law carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six months behind bars.
“I’m really concerned about some of these really important issues being rushed through without due process,” Jones said.
Other proposals Democrats and their allies support include requiring that most warrants are served during the daytime, and that a judge, not a magistrate, approve any no-knock or nighttime warrants, proposals that are aimed at preventing cases similar to Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police conducting a no-knock warrant at her home in Kentucky earlier this year.
State Sen. Scott Surovell said some lawmakers “wanted to go a little slower and take a little harder look at things” earlier this year, but he’s hopeful the events of the last few months have brought the need for immediate reform into focus.
“The pace was really more of an issue than the policy,” Surovell said.
House Del. Patrick Hope, who is helping lead House committee hearings on criminal justice reform, said Floyd’s death convinced him and other lawmakers that “decisive” action is needed.
“The sense of urgency is growing, and we cannot ignore these issues any longer,” Hope said Wednesday at a virtual committee hearing.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is focusing on increasing police accountability, in part by establishing a set of professional standards of conduct for officers that, if violated, could result in the loss of their police certification.
Currently, police officers in Virginia can only lose their certification if they fail to complete mandatory training or are convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors. Under the proposal, they could face the loss of their certification for misconduct, including the excessive use of force.
“Law enforcement should be treated as a profession,” said Claire Gastanaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. “And police — if they want to be treated like professionals — need to understand they can lose their license for misconduct.”
Despite the new urgency in the need for reform, lawmakers are also trying to temper expectations that all meaningful reforms will pass this special session. They said given the state’s long history of racism and inequity, the work will take some time.
“This was the capital of the Confederacy, these are not problems that materialized overnight and they will not be fixed overnight,” said Sen. Mamie Locke. “We have our work cut out for us.”