Robert Floyd, a resident of the Cardinal Village apartment complex, was stunned by how close his home was to Tuesday night's deadly shooting.

"It happened out here, right outside my door," said Robert Floyd, pointing to the back door on Wednesday morning. "It upsets me that kids are killing kids."

On a chilly, rainy Wednesday morning, law enforcement officers and community leaders huddled under a park shelter at the Community Center in Cardinal Village in the aftermath of Danville's eighth homicide of the year. About 35 people representing the police department, prosecutors, housing authority and Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services were there for what's known as a HEART walk — Heal and Engage After Recent Trauma. It's a way for officials to reach out to neighbors after a tragedy.

Officers rushed to Cardinal Village outside building 603 near Evan Street on Tuesday evening and found 19-year old-Xavier N. Carson with a gunshot wound to his chest. He later died at the hospital, police reported.

In a matter of hours, police announced the arrest of Traquon L. Allen, 18, of Danville. Allen is facing charges of second-degree murder and use of firearm in commission of a felony. Police reported he was being held in North Carolina, but did not specify where. The suspect is waiting extradition back to Virginia.

Before they began knocking on doors Wednesday, Danville Police Department Lt. Jerry Pace stressed the slaying was not a random act.

"It happened between two individuals who knew each other," he said.

Police wouldn't provide details on a motive and were unsure if there's a gang connection.

"We do not know at this time," he said. "It's still an active investigation."

Kiera Manning lives with her family in an apartment near where the shooting happened. She heard the gunfire and saw people trying to help Carson.

"The gunshots were so loud you would think it was in the complex," she said. "It was kids out here playing, anything could happen."

After the shooting, Manning saw other residents putting pressure on the man's wounds. The events of that night left her in shock.

"It's just crazy, unbelievable," she said, speaking on the front porch of her apartment. "That's why I just keep to myself now."

Claudia Chapman, the assistant housing manager for the Danville Redevelopment & Housing Authority was called by the property manager Tuesday night to help police in the investigation. During her walk Wednesday, she spoke with multiple tenants, and asked how they felt. 

"Everyone I spoke to felt safer that it was a closed incident," she said. "They appreciated the presence of the police here." 

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Avent is a reporter with the Danville Register & Bee. Reach him at (434) 797-7983.

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