4
| Crime |

Terrance Roberts: Police report says anti-gang activist shot man, yelled "F*ck that nigga"

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

As we reported yesterday, Terrance Roberts, a former gang leader who'd transformed himself into an inspirational anti-gang activist, was arrested for a shooting at a Friday unity rally he'd planned.

We've now obtained the probable cause statement in the case (see it below), and in it, Roberts claims he acted in self-defense against "that nigga," Hasan "Munch" Jones, 22. However, witnesses maintain Roberts kept putting bullets into Jones even after he'd hit the ground.

To put it mildly, this portrait contradicts ones of Roberts that have previously appeared in this space -- a point made by Jonathan Shikes in yesterday's post. An excerpt:

"Terrance Roberts is one of Denver's great comeback stories," Westword's Joel Warner wrote back in January. "A one-time shot-caller in the Park Hill Bloods," Roberts, now 37, had turned his life around and founded the Prodigal Son Initiative, an anti-gang youth program in northeast Park Hill. When a 2008 gang-related arson attack destroyed the Holly Square Shopping Center, Roberts helped spearhead a rebirth that now includes a busy basketball court and the Boys & Girls Club.

The club opened in August inside a building at 34th Avenue and Holly Street that also houses the Prodigal Son Initiative.

One of Denver's great comeback stories -- and one its biggest enigmas.

The mystery deepens thanks to information in the aforementioned police report. At 6:03 p.m. on Friday, the document states, police officers were dispatched to the location noted above (official address: 3333 Holly Street) on a report of a shooting.

Upon their arrival, the cops were directed to Roberts, who is said to have been armed with a semi-automatic handgun -- a weapon he allegedly shouldn't have been allowed to possess owing to his criminal history. The PC statement points out that he was previously convicted of felony aggravated robbery, and also has a record of "weapons-related charges," including a possession-of-a-weapon-by-a-previous-offender beef dating back to February 2001.

As the cops were taking the gun away from Roberts, a group of what are described as "suspected gang members" approached him. In response, Roberts is quoted as yelling, "I had to shoot that nigga. He pulled a knife on me.

"Fuck you all," he's said to have added. "You would have shot him, too. Fuck that nigga. I shot him for running up on me."

Continue for more about the arrest of Terrance Roberts, including another photo and the police report. Even more damning are assertions by two witnesses listed as confidential owing to the "violent nature of this crime" and the individuals' "vulnerability to retaliation."

Both of them tell essentially the same story -- that Roberts shot the victim, then fired again while he was lying on the ground.

Jones was rushed to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. At last report, he was in critical condition.

At this point, Roberts remains in custody on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and possession of a weapon by a prior offender.

Here's a larger look at his mug shot, followed by the probable cause statement.

Terrance Roberts Probable Cause Statement

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Terrance Roberts: The former gang leader's comeback story takes a tragic twist."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.