Roanoke Apartment Security Guard and Former Cop Murdered

Afton Garden Apartments

Reporter: David Tate

Roanoke, VA - A security guard is dead and whoever pulled the trigger is still out there. Forty-six-year old Steve Orange, Jr., of Vinton, was found shot to death in his security vehicle at the Afton Garden Apartments in Roanoke.

Orange, a father of two, worked for the Roanoke Police Department for eleven years before resigning in 2000 to go into private security.

Just before 1:30 Wednesday morning, police were called to the corner of a back parking lot at Afton Garden Apartments, where they found Orange in his vehicle, dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

As detectives canvass the area looking for clues, Tonja Keller and her family can only speculate on why Steven Orange was killed.

"People really didn't like him around here. They didn't. So, I mean, I don't know who he had trouble with, but I do know he wasn't well liked," said Tonja Keller who lives in Afton Garden Apartments.

Joe Huddleston worked with Orange at State Security in Roanoke, and before that, at the Roanoke Police Department. He has a different take on Orange.

"He was a good Dad. He was a good husband. I mean him and his wife both. They had just adopted a child not long ago. He was the type of guy that was hard working and wasn't afraid to work long, hard hours," said Huddleston.

And it was in those long hours that Orange was killed. Leaving the Kellers wondering who could have murdered the father of two and wondering if they made the right choice moving here in the first place.

"It's suitable for right now being the fact that we're struggling, but we needed a place to live with children, but at the same time the violence could come down a bit," said Keller.

Orange was the owner of ProTecht, the security company hired to patrol Afton Gardens Apartments, which is a privately owned development located next to city-owned housing.

Orange's friends say that Orange liked the more difficult assignments, like Afton Gardens, which has a long history of problems with violence and drugs.