Coming up on News 7-
A day of healing for members of Roanoke's gay community following Friday night's fatal shooting inside a gay bar.
Chuck Robb and George Allen offer their thoughts on the crime.
Plus, Ellen Qualls will have highlights from the pair's first televised debate.
News 7 is next.
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Roanoke's gay community regroups after a man, allegedly targeting homosexuals, opens fire inside a gay bar.
Good evening, I'm Teresa Hamilton.
Just hours ago, hundreds gathered in downtown Roanoke to offer each other words of comfort.
They're trying to move on following Friday night's shooting at the Backstreet Cafe.
Police say Ronald Edward Gay entered the bar- shot and killed one person and wounded six others.
Several witnesses say Gay had talked about killing homosexuals shortly before the shooting.
For many in the gay community-- the incident has been a reminder that hatred exists.
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[IN Q=I don't]
((DIANE FULCHER: I DON'T HIDE IT, I AM GAY, THAT'S WHAT I AM AND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM YOU DON'T HAVE TO TALK TO ME, YOU JUST GO ON YOUR WAY AND I'LL GO MINE.
SUZANNE LYON: I LIKED THE FACT THERE WAS QUITE A FEW STRAIGHT PEOPLE HERE TONIGHT WHO SPOKE UP AND SPOKE OUT FOR US, WE'RE HUMAN JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. ))
[SUPER=07-Diane Fulcher; :00]
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Friends and family of the seven vicitims of the shooting have only just begun the healing process.
Kate Weidaw reports, this tragedy is bringing people together.
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Sunday morning service at the Metropolitan Community Church brought many to tears.
((CATHERINE HOUCHINS/PASTOR: I REFUSE, I REFUSE, I REFUSE TO LIVE IN FEAR, AMEN.))
Friday night's shooting at the Back Street Cafe has brought many in Roanoke's gay community together.
((GAIL HARDWOOD: I THINK NOW IT'S BRINGING US OUT AND BRINGING US TOGETHER.))
Sue Stroud and her partner Anna Sparks were at the bar the night of the shooting.
((ANNA SPARKS: WHEN THE GUN GOT EMPTY HE STOPPED AT ME AND LOOKED AT ME HE HELD A GUN ON ME A COUPLE SECONDS AND WALKED OUT.))
Stroud says the look on shooter Ronald Gay's face is burned into her memory.
((SUE STROUD: HE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING, AND THEN WHEN HE FINISHED HE JUST WALKED RIGHT OUT THE DOOR LIKE NOTHING HAD EVER HAPPENED.))
And while the community is dealing with this tragedy the family of Danny Lee Overstreet is mourning his death.
((MISTY OVERSTREET/NEICE: MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO KNEW HIM LOVED HIM VERY MUCH.))
Overstreet's niece Misty says her uncle was an activist against hate crimes and it's ironic he would be the target of one.
((MISTY OVERSTREET: HE WAS SHOT IN COLD BLOOD THROUGH HIS BACK HE DIDN'T SEE IT COMING HE PANICKED AND TRIED TO LEAVE BECAUSE HE WANTED TO LIVE BUT UNFORTUNATELY THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.))
The site where Overstreet lost his life has now become a memorial with flowers and balloons.
((KATE WEIDAW/REPORTING: MANY IN THE GAY COMMUNITY SAY THEY WON'T LET THE SHOOTING KEEP THEM FROM RETURNING TO THE BACK STREET CAFE BECAUSE THEY WON'T LET HATE WIN.))
And they are just as committed to educating the public that violence against gays won't be tolerated.
Kate Weidaw News7 Roanoke.))
Shooting victims Joel Tucker, Cathy Caldwell and Linda Coniers have been released from the hospital.
John Collins is listed in Stable Condition.
Iris Page Webb is in critical condition.
The condition of Susan Smith is not being released at her wishes.
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Ronald Gay is being held in the Roanoke city jail.
Officials say he doesn't have phone privileges and is in his own holding cell.
Gay has reportedly had previous brushes with the law.
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According to a Florida television station, Gay is wanted in Citrus County, Florida on a trespassing charge.
Gay also allegedly barged into his ex-wife's Florida home in June, and had a run in with deputies.
His ex-wife then filed a restraining order against Gay.
And, according to a Florida newspaper, Gay's ex-wife remembers Gay expressing anger toward homosexuals.
The Backstreet Cafe shooting puts a local focus on federal hate crimes legislation -- pushed forward over the last several months by the Matthew Shepherd murder.
A bill adding sexual orientation, gender, and disability to the statuses protected under the current hate crimes law has passed the Senate-- and gotten preliminary approval in the House.
Virginia's Senate candidates commented after tonight's debate.
[IN Q=Well first]
[SOT TAPE TWO 04:00:44 ]
((CHUCK ROBB: WELL FIRST OF ALL I'M A CO-SPONSOR OF THE HATE CRIMES ACT AND WE FINALLY PASSED IT. PASSING A LAW AND GETTING PEOPLE TO RID THEIR HEARTS AND THEIR MINDS OF HATRED ARE TWO SEPARATE THINGS.))
[SOT TAPE TWO 04:08:00 ]
((GEORGE ALLEN: AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL...SEXUAL ORIENTATION...THAT TYPE OF CRIME.))
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[SUPER=201-George Allen/(R) U.S. Senate Candidate; :12]
[OUT Q=type of crime.]
Race, religion, and ethnic origin are already protected statuses in the current federal hate crimes law.
Jean tosses to Robin in Weather Center
[Toss back to anchor][Senate-Debate]
After a barrage of T-V ads -- now, maybe, a new hot issue in the U-S Senate race.
Abortion could change the dynamic.
News 7 carried the first televised debate tonight.
Ellen Qualls has the highlights and the reaction.
[IN Q=Go Chuck go!]
[SUPER=201-Sen. Chuck Robb/(D) U.S. Senate Candidate; :20]
[SUPER=201-Doug Wilder/Moderator; :30]
[SUPER=201-George Allen/(R) U.S. Senate Candidate; :45 ]
[SUPER=201-Larry Sabato/U.Va. Political Analyst; 1:08]
[SUPER=219-Ellen/Qualls; 1:41 ]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7 Richmond.]
(([SOT TAPE TWO 01:57:10 ISH]
((GO CHUCK GO! GO CHUCK GO! ))
[SOT TAPE TWO 01:57:17]
((TIME TO GO! TIME TO GO! ))
Things heated pretty quickly on the inside of the Virginia Commonwealth University Performing Arts Center too.
[sot TAPE ONE 57:36 ]
((CHUCK ROBB: I'M GONNA KEEP TRYING, GEORGE, AND I ASSUME YOU'RE GONNA KEEP DODGING. BUT THE QUESTION HAS TO DO WITH DO YOU SUPPORT OR DO YOU OPPOSE ROE VERSUS WADE?))
Allen answered... and then got prompting from the impartial moderator -- former Governor Doug Wilder.
[sot TAPE ONE 56:03 ]
((WILDER: AS TO WHAT YOUR POSITION IS, I THINK THAT WAS THE QUESTION, WHAT IS IT?))
[sot TAPE ONE 56:47 ]
((GEORGE ALLEN: AT THE STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT THAT YOU HAVE A BEATING HEART, MEASURABLE BRAIN WAVES, SENSITIVITY TO TOUCH, IN UTERO THUMB-SUCKING, AT THAT STAGE, OR THAT POINT OF DEVELOPMENT, I THINK THAT PEOPLE IN THE STATES LISTENING AND TALKING TO DOCTORS AND PHYSICIANS AND EXPERTS, COULD AND IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE TO PROTECT THAT UNBORN CHILD OR THAT FETUS. AT WHAT STAGE THAT IS, THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE SOME TIME IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER.))
Analysts that stand -- in contradiction to Roe v. Wade -- could become a point of vulnerability for Allen.
[SOT TAPE TWO 04:13:58]
((LARRY SABATO: THE NEWS IS THAT CHUCK ROBB CAME ALIVE...SINCE 1981.))
[SOT TAPE TWO 03:56:16]
((Are you going to make an endorsement? DOUG WILDER: PEOPLE DO A LOT OF THINGS... MIGH NOT BE A BAD IDEA TO JUST WAIT.))
[SOT TAPE TWO 04:00:25 ]
((CHUCK ROBB: I WOULD WELCOME HIS HELP. WHEN WE'VE WORKED TOGETHER WE'VE ALWAYS WON.))
[SOT TAPE TWO 04:10:43]
((GEORGE ALLEN: I WOULD HOPE THAT GOVERNOR WILDER WOULD BE ON OUR SIDE, BUT I'M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH.))
[sot TAPE TWO STANDUP 04:20:26 ]
((THIS IS THE THIRD ACTUAL DEBATE...ELLEN QUALLS, NEWS 7, RICHMOND.))
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Charges will be filed against the driver who crashed his tractor trailer on Interstate 81 early Sunday morning in Botetourt County.
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State police say 46- year old Dennis Halcomb of Tennessee will be charged with driving under the influence.
Halcomb's rig caught fire after he crashed near Buchanan.
The accident closed down both Northbound lanes for several hours.
No one else was injured.
Still ahead - thousands walk through downtown Roanoke to raise money to cure Diabetes.
We'll be right back.
Two- thousand people laced up their tennis shoes for a walk through Roanoke's downtown market this afternoon.
It was all part of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation's Tenth Annual Walk to Cure Diabetes.
The four mile walk is the chapter's major fundraiser.
Many who took part in the event say they know someone with diabetes.
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((AMY MARTIN/WALKER: MY SISTER IS A JUVENILE DIABETIC SO SHE HAS MADE IT FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS SO I'M WALKING FOR HER.))
[OUT Q=for her.]
More than 200-thousand dollars were raised today.
Up next -
News 7 viewers sound off about our news coverage of minority issues.
And a local tobacco company goes up in smoke.
The details are still ahead.
Fire caused thousands of dollars in damage to a Roanoke County tobacco store Saturday night.
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Firefighters responded to the blaze at "The Tobacco Company" on Williamson Road around 11 pm.
Investigators say the blaze was sparked by electrical wiring in the attic.
No one was injured, but there is around 7-THOUSAND dollars in damage to the store.
[TAPE#=Feedback; TC 1:32]
Two events involving minorities have dominated the news in Roanoke recently.
And both are the main topics in our viewer mail, too.
Here's News-7's Feedack, with assignment editor Joe McKean.
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((The shooting of seven people inside a Roanoke nightspot that catered to the gay community brought us several letters, all with a common theme.
"The tragedy of hate which took place Friday night toward the gay community is no different than a lynching," wrote one man (Jeff Artis/Roanoke)."We are all brothers and sisters in God's eyes."
Another viewer (Mike Perry/Vinton) said: "This is akin to the Matthew Shepherd killing in Wyoming and should NOT be swept under the rug. The local gay community is outraged as should every citizen of Southwest Virginia."
Relatives of James Minor remain skeptical of the Roanoke police department's investigation into his fatal motorcycle accident.
Viewers writing to us are defending the police.
One said: (Oden T. Angle/Roanoke) "This guy was breaking the law and what happened as bad. But if he was not doing anything wrong then he should have stopped for them...It is getting where a police officer can't do anything because some group of people wants to step in and say it's OK to break the law. To me, all of them should take a hike."
Another person says: (Nyoka Stoots/Wythe County) "Just three weeks ago (the motorcyclist) was charged with driving with a suspended license. I'm sorry about this man's death and for his family, but as I see it the police were not to blame, they were just doing their job."
The address for letters to News-7 is PO Box 7, Roanoke, 24022-0007.
Our fax number is 343-7269.
The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And our website, wdbj7.com, has a moderated on-line forum.
Joe McKean, News-7.))
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121 Late Model Stock car drivers took a shot at conquering the Martinsville Speedway in the Taco Bell 300.
Mike Stevens and photographer Lynn Eller show is who rung the bell, and who got his bell rung.
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Tony Stewart won for the fourth time on the Winston Cup circuit taking the checkered flag in the MBNA Gold 400.
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Jerry Nadeau was the leader after 107 laps and Stewart was running a strong second.
Then Dale Jarrett returned to the track 100 laps down after being involved in a crash earlier in the race.
Jeff Burton led for several laps but while he was running second on lap 185 he blows a tire and hits the wall causing him points in the championship.
Jeremy Mayfield was the leader at the halfway mark but he would leeve the race with engine problems.
Dale Earnhardt, who's challenging for the points title, had a rough day he was running 17-th with 15 laps to go.
But no one was catching Tony Stewart he led for more than 120 laps and he takes the checkered flag in the MNBA Gold 400.
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[IN Q="As the day...]
((TONY STEWART/MBNA GOLD 400 WINNER: AS THE DAY GOT ON WE GOT A LITTLE BETTER HANDLE ON IT WE HAD A LITTLE HOELP WHEN SOME REALLY GOOD CARS DROPPING OUT OF THE RACE. THE LAST STOP WE WERE REAL GOOD AND THE SECOND TO LAST STOP WE WERE PRETTY GOOD BUT THE LAST STOP WE WERE REAL GOOD. WE HAD IT THE BEST OF THE DAY ON THE LAST RUN WHEN WE NEEDED IT.))
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[OUT Q=.....we needed it."]
Johnny Benson was second, Ricky Rudd third, Steve Park fourth and Bobby Labonte fifth. Rick Mast was 10-th.
THat's it for sports. Have a great day everybody.
Brad Johnson passed for 2 touchdowns to lead the Washington Redskins to a 16 to 6 win over the New York Giants.
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Johnson goes to the air and hooks up with Irving Fryer on this 23 yard T-D pass and the Redskins took a 7 to nothing lead with 12 minutes leftt in the second quarter.
Then former U-V-A kicker Michael Husted boots this 25 yard field goal his first as a Redskin and Washington led 10 to nothing at the half.
Washington opened the third quarter with a score Johnson to the air again this time he hits Andre Reed, he scores his first T-D as a Skin and Washington led 16 to nothing.
Then the defense stepped up Deion Sanders intercepts this Kerry Collins pass in the end zone and returns it to the Redskin 28 yard line and Washington beats the Giants 16 to 6.
Jeff Garcia threw 2 touchdown passes to Jerry Rice as San Francisco beat Dallas 41 to 24.
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Troy Aikman started the game and in the second quarter Julian Peterson intercepts this pass and the 49-ers take over at the Dallas 30 yard line.
Several plays later Jeff Garcia on the play fake hits Terrell Owens on the 2 yard T-D pass play and the Niners took a 17 to 3 lead.
Dallas trailed 17 to 10 at the half then in the third Garcia hooks up with Jerry Rice on this 68 yard touchdown pass play and the Niners win it 41 to 24.
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In Tampa Bay, The Jets Wayne Cherbet would be the star of the match up with Keshawn and the Bucs.
The Bucs would lead the game 17 to 3 when Ronde barber picks off this Vinny Testeverde pass and return it 27 yards for the touchdown.
But the Jets scored twice in the last 2 minutes Cherbet hauling in this half back pass from Curtis Martin as the Jets beat the Bucs.
And here are the rest of the scores.
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[SUPER=0100-j/N.Y. Jets/21//Tampa Bay/17////Cleveland/10/j/Oakland/36///;]
[OUT Q=....last score."]
The Magic number for the Yankees to clinch the American League East is down to three.
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The teams observe a moment of silence for Auriello Rodriguez who was killed in a car wreck earlier this week.
Then in the top of the first Bernie Williams gets all of this pitch and sends it over the right field wall for his 30-th homer the Yankees led 1 to nothing.
Still in the first Tino Martinez connects for this two run homer over the right field wall and the Yankees beat the Tigers 6 to 3.
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The Orioles handed a big blow to Boston's Playoff hopes.
The only score of the game came in the 8-th when Eugene Kingsale hit this sacrafice fly off Rich Garces and the Orioles win it 1 to nothing boston losing for the seventh time in 11 games.
And here are the scores.
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[OUT Q=...last score."]
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Racers ages 10 to 58 peddled the mountain bike course at Explore Park this afternoon.
It was a part of The Roanoke City Police Department's Sporting Event.
This is the first time the five mile mountain bike race has been a part of the sports weekend.
It was a time trial event to raise money for a good cause.
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[OUT Q=purpose up here]
The Sporting Event included a golf tournament yesterday and a 5-K footrace this afternoon.
The top finishers in the bike race were Kirk Lancaster, Scott Heatherington and Justin Farris.
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