“We were all trapped in.” Residents speak after downtown Roanoke standoff

Damoan townes was arrested Friday morning
Damoan townes was arrested Friday morning(WDBJ7)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia State Police have released the name of the man involved in a standoff and shooting with officers in downtown Roanoke late Thursday night and into Friday morning. Damoan Townes is in custody facing charges.

Residents describing what happened to WDBJ7 explained they felt trapped between the gunshots of the shooter in the house across the street and police in front of their apartment building. Simone Steward explained they didn’t have any other option but to just wait it out.

“I think that’s what scared me the most is you’re trapped in there,” Steward said. “You have nowhere to go.”

Steward heard the first gunshot hit her apartment around 10:45 p.m.

“I just heard the glass shatter and I heard the pop, which sounded like a gunshot,” Steward said. “I was worried about my dog so I crawled to the back and we went back out in the back bedroom and stayed there and we kept hearing shots.”

One bullet went through William Spencer’s living room while he was cooking.

“They messed up my tacos and it was my first time trying them,” Spencer said. “Fifteen minutes later, I get a gunshot going through my house and I’m ducking for cover.”

Roanoke City Police arrived around 11 p.m. and started evacuating residents. Police arrested 31-year old Townes at 3:30 a.m. Townes is now charged with two counts of firing a gun inside a building with malicious intent.

Steward and Spencer explained this is the first time something like this has happened in the neighborhood.

“I’ve been living here since the beginning of the year, been here since then and I’ve enjoyed it because it’s a pretty nice place until something like this happens,” Spencer said.

“It’s never been like this,” Steward said. “I don’t know what happened. It’s just not safe to me if you have bullets up in your window.”

The City of Roanoke Police Department placed the officers involved on administrative leave per policy. No one was injured during the standoff.

“It was crazy, just all the gunshots. We were all trapped in,” Steward said. “It was the feeling of being trapped and you don’t feel safe because you got multiple gunshots.”

Virginia State Police are leading the investigation into the incident, since Roanoke Police were involved in the shooting.

Copyright 2022 WDBJ. All rights reserved.