ROANOKE, VA (WWBT) - It's been a long couple of days for the entire community of Roanoke and the surrounding area. The WDBJ news staff have handled this ordeal with extraordinary composure.
The community has shown its support with a growing memorial and a vigil outside the station.
Dozens of people sang Amazing Grace, had a moment of silence for the victims and prayed. WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were ambushed and shot to death during a live shot. Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, was injured and is now in recovery.
Many people came to lean on one another for support. India Robinson, a mother of two young boys, is making this a life lesson.
"It's very important for me that they know what's going on, so that they are aware," she said. "It's not OK to do wrong, it's not OK to hurt other people, and it's not OK to show your anger in this way."
Attorney General Mark Herring came to let Roanoke know this: "The entire Commonwealth is thinking about them," he said.
The violence has opened an old wound here, the Virginia Tech mass shootings were just a few years ago.
"I think the people in Roanoke are overwhelmed," says Catherine Koebel Stromberg, a gun violence prevention advocate. "I don't think there is anybody in this community where this is not personal anymore."
And the issue of gun violence is again brought up.
"I think there are a lot of things that we can do including reasonable gun safety measures, better mental health and we need stop thinking that we can walk away from tragedies like this and think the problem is going to solve itself," says Attorney General Herring.
For now, this community says it will continue to raise its voice, with the hope that this violence will stop.
Grief counselors will continue to be at WDBJ.
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