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Neighbors react to Roanoke County Police officer-involved shooting

Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 6:34 PM EST
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The sounds of kids playing and residents putting their Christmas decorations up could be heard down Lantern Street Saturday. A seemingly normal day that contrasts greatly to the scene that unfolded Friday night.

Shocked and in disbelief. That was the most common reaction from residents Saturday.

“It was kind of surreal because you never really see those type of things in this neighborhood, nor just in general. You kind of just hear about it, so to witness it was kind of one of those “oh God” moments,” said Briea Huneault.

“Everybody was kind of just in disbelief that this had just happened right here in front of us,” said Brandon Huneault.

Briea and Brandon have grown up on Lantern Street for the last 20 years.

The situation was a domestic dispute that Roanoke County Police were called to Friday night. After setting up a perimeter on scene, RCPD said officers attempted multiple times to communicate with 52-year-old Shawn Alan Smith, but were unsuccessful.

RCPD said Smith unexpectedly left his home and engaged with an officer, leading to Smith being shot and killed. Residents said the situation has changed the neighborhood forever.

“You mourn the situation and you observe and you take in the situation but it’s never going back to normal.”

“We can’t hide behind the fact that everything’s the same like it used to be, everything is different now.”

A situation like this can shake a neighborhood, and although it’s going to take time, residents said they will get through this together.

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