Roanoke City has experienced a significant increase in homicides, with 26 already reported in 2023, the highest number since the 1970s. Nicole Ross, a member of the FEDUP Outreach and Support Group and the City of Roanoke Gun Violence Prevention Commission, expressed concern about the impact of gun violence on the community. She believes the community is becoming desensitized to violence and shared her personal experience of witnessing the Melrose Library shooting. Ross highlighted factors such as poverty, unemployment and untreated mental health issues that contribute to violence. She emphasized the need for a culture change and encouraged the community to come together and support each other to deal with the anger and hurt that lead to violence.