Neighbors heard Salonya Evans screaming for help moments before she was gunned down Sunday in southeast Roanoke.
Evans, 24, died in the street, a few houses away from where she lived in the 900 block of Morehead Avenue.
Evans had worked as a certified nursing assistant at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for the last seven months.
“Salonya was an incredibly intelligent, motivated, and positive individual,” said a statement released Monday by Carilion Clinic. “Her mission in life was to help others, and she will be remembered for her infectious smile, compassion, and selflessness.”
The hospital described Evans as “a loving daughter and a wonderful mother,” and “a remarkable caregiver.”
Police said Monday they had no more information to release about the killing, potential suspects, or arrests.
On Sunday about 1 a.m., a neighbor heard a woman scream “help” and “please don’t.” He heard gunshots, rushed out, and found Evans lying on the ground. He declined to be identified publicly because of the ongoing police investigation.
Residents described Evans as private and kind, and the neighborhood as generally quiet.
“Her smile was infectious,” said a neighbor, who didn’t want her name used publicly because of the police investigation and lack of an arrest in the case. “I would have a bad day, and I could walk past this woman, I would have a better day.”
Evans had lived at the two-story white house with her 4-year-old daughter for about six months, neighbors said.
Her death marks the city’s ninth reported homicide this year.
Several neighbors criticized how police left Evans’ partially dressed body exposed Sunday on the pavement, where, by Monday afternoon, someone had placed artificial flowers in a tin can.
About eight hours passed before police put up screens, then took her body away, according to Christina Henegar and other neighbors.
“The Roanoke Police Department has set protocols to preserve and collect all available evidence on a crime scene,” police spokeswoman Caitlyn Cline said in an email. “We do everything we can to treat victims with the utmost respect while following those protocols.”
She added that a body can’t be moved until released by the medical examiner’s office.
The medical examiner’s office said Monday afternoon that Evans’ autopsy had yet to be completed.
Evans’ death came just four days after gunfire claimed the lives of two people in northwest Roanoke.
Kyyona Casey, 21, and Justin Jennings, 31, both of Roanoke, died after a shooting somewhere between the city’s West End and Melrose-Rugby neighborhoods.
They were found early Wednesday in a vehicle that was headed east in the 800 block of Orange Avenue. A third man in the car was also shot and had to be hospitalized.
Police have also shared few details about the circumstances of that attack.
Anyone with information can contact police at 344-8500 or through text beginning with the phrase “RoanokePD” at 274637.
Staff writer Jeff Sturgeon contributed information to this report.