Salem teenager shot in northeast Roanoke, dies two days later

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Submitted photo
Jacob Aldridge

Authorities have identified the 19-year-old teenager shot in northeast Roanoke last week as Jacob Aldridge.

According to Roanoke City police, Aldridge was shot in the back of the head inside his 2004 Mercedes-Benz on July 10 in the 1600 block of Eastern Avenue, adjacent to the Little Caesars off of Orange Avenue. Less than 48 hours later, he was pronounced dead at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Salemites have a reputation for looking out for one another. When Beth Roberts learned of Jacob’s passing, she was devastated. “Regardless of what he was doing there that night, he did not deserve to die,” Roberts said. “Nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes. I truly feel for his family and loved ones.”

From 2013 to 2017, Jacob attended Salem High School. During his Spartan career, he was a member of the school’s baseball and football team.

In the fall 2017 semester, Aldridge took a few courses at Virginia Western Community College.

“The program he was placed in was Business Administration,” Josh Myer, the school’s marketing director, said. “He hadn’t been enrolled in the last two semesters, but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t coming back. We send our heartfelt condolences to Jacob’s family.”

Of all the people that George Smith knows, he says that few, if any, had a better sense of fashion than Jacob.

“He loved to dress and boy could he dress his butt off,” Smith said. “It’s one thing to wear designer clothes; it’s another thing to do it in style. Jacob always had style.”

The house that Aldridge was shot in front of was the same location of a 2017 Thanksgiving home invasion and shooting that resulted in a fatality. A department spokeswoman said as of now police do not believe that last week’s killing and the Thanksgiving shooting are related.

Roanoke City Police continue to investigate the death of Jacob Aldridge. Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact 540-344-8500.